Writing in the Schools
Writing in the Schools (WITS) is an outreach program established in 2003 which assists Title-1 schools in the Los Angeles and Pasadena Unified School Districts. The program strives to present creative writing and contemporary literature to Los Angeles County students in interesting and often quirky ways while still upholding California State Standards for Education. To this aim, the press employs authors who have had experience as instructors in such venues as Title-1 schools and juvenile detention centers, and possess great energy and a willingness to teach any group of students.
Through the program, an author conducts a minimum of four writing workshops at a classroom participating in the program. Previous schools that have hosted the program include Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, Pacoima Charter Elementary School, Crenshaw High School, Birmingham High School, Van Nuys High School, and Kennedy High School in Los Angeles, and Cleveland Elementary in Pasadena.
The authors’ lesson plans vary with each new workshop, though will follow the same basic pattern of beginning with an open reading of selected texts followed by classroom discussions and student writing. Students each receive and work from a unique textbook designed by Red Hen for the program, and upon the program’s culmination, the press collects one poem from each student and compiles them into professionally-bound student anthologies which the students also receive.
If you would like more information on the program, the WITS textbooks (see below), or how to become involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.