“Jump Up” Fundraiser
A big shout-out to the many people who gave generously to our spring fund-raising event. With their support, we were able to take workshops to the East Palo Library and to Dr. George Washington Carver Elementary School in the Bayview/Hunter’s Point neighborhood of San Francisco.
Make a donation today to help us change the lives of our most vulnerable kids!
No One Turned Away
Arise* was a little ball of sadness sitting on the carpet. He’d come to a winter 2014 Story Time/Writing Time workshop at the Redwood City Main Library. He was distressed about not being able to read or write. “Nobody writes alone here” I quickly reassured him. “We work together – we collaborate.”
Using the story I was reading, I discovered what Arise did know about literacy. A lot, it turned out. He knew stories didn’t start in the middle of the book. He was familiar with “beginning-middle-end”. This seven-year-old was also a great verbal storyteller. I chose Arise to help me model buddy writing.
Together we created a story where the UPS man arrived at our workshop with a big box. Inside was a red and blue truck that could go as fast as a rocket. Arise used to zoom all the way to Georgia to get a hug from his grandma, then zoomed back before his parents missed him. When it was time to write, I paired Arise with nine-year-old Annie*, a very empathetic girl. Soon, Arises’ enthusiastic voice was heard above the others as he gave her ideas for their story about a runaway snowman.
Calling me over after they’d finished, I sat down next to Arise. I guided a pointer finger over the words, and as I read, a look of surprise and then awe came over his little face. This was his first story. “You’re an author now.” I said. I raised my voice. “Everybody, it’s time to celebrate! 1-2-3- Wooo-whooo!”
*Names changed to protect privacy
Since 2005, Jump Into Writing has opened the door to literacy success for almost 1,350 students in San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Francisco Counties. Check the Events page for our December workshop for kids in East Palo Alto. See you there!
“There is a yearning for extra help with English and writing. In the workshops, you saw kids start to invest in their future.”
Jonathan Jones, Redwood City Public Libraries