“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.”
You’re always there for us. Have been from the beginning.
In 2014 you outdid yourselves.
We’re starting to run out of nice things to say about you.
You were there as volunteers, as donors, as advocates of good writing and storytelling.
You were there because you know what writing can do.
And you were there because you know something else.
Philly kids are the best. Smart and funny. Kind and generous. Simply the coolest. Deserving of our collective Herculean effort.
We reach some 2,000 Philly kids with the power of writing every year. Thanks to you, we’re going to reach a lot more Philly kids in 2015.
We’ll be telling you how real soon. We can barely contain ourselves.
Meantime, thank you. Again. Our Mighty best for a glorious 2015.
As they say on The Wire, be easy.
Executive Director, Mighty Writers
Christian Precise (photo above) is a junior at Masterman High School in Philadelphia and a longtime student at Mighty Writers. The following story recently appeared in her school newspaper.
Walls adorned with blown-up images of comic book superheroes, shelves stuffed with novels from writers of all walks of life and rooms bursting at the seams with the energy of children eager to learn how to write: this is Mighty Writers– a free Philadelphia writing program that teaches kids to think clearly and write with clarity.
Executive Director Tim Whitaker had big plans to tackle the illiteracy issue in Philadelphia when he opened a first location in 2009. Mighty Writers has grown rapidly from its roots six years ago and continues to expand. Today the program boasts 2500 students and over 300 volunteers.
Lauren Elizabeth Holguin
Hometown: Hacienda Heights, California
Profession: Aspiring fiction author and college professor, production assistant, childcare provider and restaurant server
Volunteer since: May 2015
What I do at MW: A volunteer and Mighty mentor who has been participating in the beautification of the El Futuro site in the 9th Street Market and leading workshops in storyboarding, science fiction and group storytelling.
Favorite Author: Kurt Vonnegut and Haruki Murakami
Last book I read: “Burning Down George Orwell’s House,” by Andrew Ervin
Book I liked as a kid: “The Hobbit,” by J.R.R Tolkien and “Coraline,” by Neil Gaiman
Quote I like: “It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” —Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Pei Yen Lin
Hometown: Kaosiung, Taiwan
Profession: Data analyzing, media purchasing and branding
Volunteer at MW since: March 2015
What I do at MW: I’m a workshop leader and summer intern. I hold a workshop called “Writing for Dumplings,” which introduces Mighty Writers aged 7-9 to Chinese food culture. Kids learn history, make dumplings, enjoy them and write about their experience. I also design marketing materials and help with fundraising campaigns.
Favorite author: I enjoy reading the “Old Man’s War” series by John Scalzi. I’m looking forward to his upcoming novel “The End of All Things,” which will be published this August.
Last book I read: “I, Robot,” by Isaac Asimov.
Book I liked as a kid: “The Swiss Family Robinson,” by Johann David Wyss
Quote I like: Big dreams, deep roots.
Thanks to support from the Valentine Foundation, Mighty Writers will offer several one-time, girl themed workshops to local schools, afterschool programs and community organizations during spring 2015. Check our offerings below and email firstname.lastname@example.org to bring a Girl Power workshop to your group. Availability is limited, so get in touch today!
Girl Power Theater
Suggested age group: 10 and up
Teaching Artist: Caroline Rhoads
Through improvisation and acting exercises, we celebrate the voices and opinions of the young ladies of Philadelphia. We’ll talk about girl empowerment and storytelling, and learn to celebrate one another’s strengths and stories. Together, we’ll create original characters that represent the girls of Philadelphia and develop a plot that tells all of our stories. Multi-session workshops end in a final performance.
Princess to Queen
Suggested age group: 11 and up
Teaching Artist: Robin Stewart
In this rites of passage workshop for girls, we’ll learn how to boost our self confidence by writing about it! We’ll learn basic etiquette, some do’s and don’ts for school, home and socializing. We’ll respond to inspirational stories of great women through poetry, persuasive and informational writing.
Girls Rule the World
Suggested age group: 12 and up
Teaching Artist: Mikala Jamison
This workshop seeks to give young girls a chance to develop their critical reading and writing skills while thinking about what it means to see the world through the eyes of a Philadelphia girl. We’ll study literature by other women and girls, and talk about the issues facing us today: body image, relationships, friendships, stereotypes, and more. In a safe and supportive community, we’ll find our girl power and write from a place of thoughtful kindness and acceptance. Girls rule: first Philadelphia, and then the world.
Grit for Girls
Suggested age group: 12 and up
Teaching Artist: Ann Atkins
Join author Ann Atkins, who has written several books on the theme of women who’ve got grit. Grit is perseverance and passion for long-term goals and it is an important trait for Philly girls. Many of us have it already. Atkins has written books on First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, teacher and politician Golda Meir and chemist and physicist Marie Curie. Together, we’ll learn about the grit that made these women successful and how to foster that same trait in ourselves. Join our community for a discussion of grit and goals, roadblocks and resolve.