In 2017, YourWords STL provided:
- A full year of weekly one-on-one tutoring at Drury House for 16-20-year-old young men at Marygrove Children's Home
- A full year of creative writing workshops at Drury House with two chapbooks currently in production led by Dr. Anna Ojascastro Guzon and Joey Ferber
- Our inaugural fall tutoring and creative writing workshops at Sequoia House for 16-20-year-old young women at Marygrove Children's Home led by DuEwa Frazier
"My Words. My Voice. Myself" books published from the spring creative writing workshops at Lift for Life Gym focused on 9-18-year-old girls led by Patsy Zettler
- A fall creative writing workshop on dialogue for the young girls at Lift for Life Gym led by Donna Patton
Collaborative projects between Parkway NE Middle School and St. Louis Catholic Academy 6th graders for "Tell it Slant" poetry chapbook published this summer
- "Castle of Your Imagination" lift-the-flap books crafted by Parkway NE Middle School 8th-graders and personalized for 5-6-year-olds at Marygrove Children's Home
- Partnership with Young Chicago Authors which brought acclaimed poets Kevin Coval and Nate Marshall to New City School, Ferguson Middle School, St. Louis Catholic Academy, and Parkway NE Middle School totaling over 900 students in one day
- Our standing room only Louder Than a Bomb Intentional Screening hosted by Advisory Board Member Treasure Shields Redmond, with young poets Camden West and Christopher Smith with DEAF Inc, and newly-crowned STL Youth Poet Laureate, UrbArt's Zack Lesmeister opening for Kevin and Nate
Halfway through this academic year, we are just getting started. Our 2018 programming commences the first week of January. We are thrilled at the new partner schools planned for next semester. In 2018, we will continue tutoring and workshops for 4 hours per week, at Marygrove, as well as 60-minute weekly workshops at Lift for Life Gym. The young men at Marygrove will be taught by the award-winning filmmaker, Daniel Blake Smith, who will lead the residents in writing monologues, which will culminate in a performance produced by PRIME Theater. Those who are unable or choose not to perform their work will have their monologues performed by professional actors. The young women at Marygrove will be taught poetry and performance by the middle school author and poet, DuEwa Frazier. COCA teaching artist, Donna Patton, will lead the girls at Lift for Life Gym in writing scripts, which they will perform and film on iPads. And our program director, Anna Ojascastro Guzon, will lead a collaborative poetry and podcast project for New City School’s “Delmar Divide” curriculum in conjunction with Hawthorn School’s humanities class.
Please consider donating to YourWords STL today on #GivingTuesday to support empowering our local youth through creative writing. Your generosity allows us to bring more programs, local educators, and artists to the students most in need.
As always, donations are tax-deductible, so consider YourWords STL as you complete your giving for 2017!