• Students as teachers

    Five years ago, fresh out of college, I taught my first creative writing workshop in a Baltimore school. That very first day—nervous, young, worried that the kids would see through my lack of expertise—I met a child who lived to write.

  • High expectations for Baltimore’s youth

    This August, Writers in Baltimore Schools held its first sleepaway writing camp, the weeklong Baltimore Young Writers Studio. We’ve held two-day writing studios in Baltimore before, but this year, we took fourteen kids between the ages of twelve to sixteen to the woods of western Maryland for an intensive writing experience. It was a homegrown project, staffed by local writers and Teach for America dynamos, and created in the image of the writing camp that perhaps changed the direction of my young life, the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio.

  • Bringing poetry to life to make confident readers

    Last April, the 7th grade writing workshop I teach at Margaret Brent Elementary/Middle School studied an Edna St. Vincent Millay poem. Today, the group struts around the school, reciting lines from the poem: “We were very tired, we were very merry–, We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.” Writers in Baltimore […]

  • Engaging kids through theater

    Let’s give every student the chance to write and produce a play. This can happen in the language arts classroom or as part of an after-school program. The important part is that students are in charge, from brainstorming to production night. Students crave opportunities to express themselves, and theater offers a constructive outlet for the […]