National Writing Project

Students Express Themselves Through Art and Writing Workshops Led by Philadelphia Writing Project Teachers

Publication: The Notebook
Date: August 19, 2015

Summary: Sam Reed and Peggy Marie Savage, Philadelphia Writing Project teacher-consultants, organize youth workshops that blend creative arts and writing. The Boys Write Now (funded by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers) and Girls on Fire programs are also preparation for the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.


Excerpt from Article

Boys Write Now's local organizer, Sam Reed, said he is trying to counter the impression that the arts, writing, and poetry aren't for boys.

'What I observe is that my boys who are into poetry come to me on the side, like, 'Hey, Mr. Reed, please check out this poem I wrote.' So I had to find a way to invite them to be bold about it and submit it in the contest and let the world see it.'

Reed said his goal is for students to submit their work to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

'High-level work is coming from these young people,' said Reed, a 10th-grade humanities teacher at The U School.

He uses the workshops to inform what he does in the classroom, because 'the things that can spark kids outside of school are the things that can spark them inside of school,' said Reed. 'I want [them] to have multiple avenues into art.'

Peggy Marie Savage, a 5th-grade teacher at Richmond Elementary and co-founder of Girls on Fire, said she sees the programs as a way to 'bring classroom into the community and community into the classroom."

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