Got an hour per week to save this country? Help a kid with their reading and writing skills.
Here’s an appeal from our friends over at 826LA (and soon to be, 826LA East):
Hi there, friend of 826LA!
The fall season is, ahem, falling upon us, and as fall seasons go, this one is bringing in an abundant number of eager young faces to our space in Venice. We have students coming in to drop-in tutoring, students attending exciting new workshops, like Spotlight On FEAR, and If I Were King or Queen, and classes coming in for the ever-heart-pounding Storytelling and Bookmaking field trips, as well as in-school projects.
Old friend or new, we have many many opportunities for volunteers to help us out! We especially need people to come in to tutor at drop-in, Monday through Thursday, 2:30-5:30 pm. We’re extremely flexible: come in any day, any week, for any amount of time. It’s an exciting time for our drop-in program; newly painted walls, a new table, some new chairs, a new calendar for our in-house student writing publications, Dogtown Books, and most of all, plenty of kids–old and new–who could use your help in writing that wild story about rainbows or annoying siblings or monsters. Or ice cream. Or monsters made out of ice cream. You get the idea.
826LA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.
I’m going to take this minute to plug my MFA program (again). Only here in LA can you get the kind of open-minded, diverse, rigourous, and utterly creative masters’ degree a girl like me needs. And recently, Antioch University Los Angeles was named by The Atlantic one of the “five top low-residency MFA programs” in the country.
Why? See that guy up above? He’s the program Chair (hi Steve!) He’s dedicated his life to providing the kind of education and encouragement that fledgling writers need in school and beyond. I’ve never seen him in a suit and he’s never once uttered the phrase “competitive placement” in my presence. That’s not what this MFA is about.
Having been accepted at other school’s programs, I chose Antioch because of its faculty and its “MFA program specifically devoted to literature and the pursuit of social justice.” Now, a year and a bit later, I’m making my living writing (it’s true!) and find myself using many of the program’s practical goodies (setting a semi-annual plan, prepping and teaching a workshop, connecting to my writing community, etc.) Oh, and yeah, I’m a better writer. As Steve said when he welcomed us on our first night as MFA students, this program changed my life.
So, if you’re a writer or poet in need of the kind of support and mentorship that an MFA program can provide, why not apply?
I’m thrilled to announce classes I’m teaching this summer with mediabistro. Writers needing help shaping a piece they’re working on or in need of a rejuvenating story shot, join us for one or both of these full-day workshops (enrollment is limited so get your pieces submitted early). Hope to see you there!