Mighty Writers operates in four locations: the original South Philly site, West Philly, North Philly and the Ninth Street Market (a bilingual location for the Mexican community). “It freaks me out a little bit,” Whitaker laughed. “We’re constantly racing to keep up with it.”
People are always suggesting Mighty Writers expand into more neighborhoods because of the improved writing of their Mighty students.
There are many different elements to the Mighty Writers program that makes it what it is today. The base is the Academy, a daily writing program for students grades 3-8. Children work on homework, focus on writing activities and still have time to play between building their brains to think and write clearly. Writing workshops operate after 6pm and on weekends, and are varied in scope—from comic book creation to fantasy fiction to college test prep.
For high school students, the Teen Scholars program is focused on the daunting college process. MW Program Manager James Owk has been working with the Academy and Teen Scholars for five years. His students dialogue about current events, go on college tours and strengthen their writing skills through essays. “The conversations are very insightful,” he says of the program. “The relationships aren’t just me being a guide. It goes well beyond that. I suspect some of the relationships I’ve been able to form here will become lifelong.”
Hard work has brought forth fruitful results in the Mighty Writers world. Each day allows the students to make a difference in their communities and in their lives just by letting their minds run free with writing.