In the District, two-thirds of students write at a “basic” or “below basic” level; college instructors estimate that half are unprepared for college-level writing. OWE leads the District's largest writing program, annually serving 5,000 students, equipping educators to teach critical thinking, and empowering students to write about issues that matter to them. They learn to create strong hooks, gather and cite hard evidence, and write with clarity and purpose, basics they will need in college and the workplace. Select students get direct support from teachers and performance artists to build essays into persuasive oral presentations for community leaders and family members. Over the next three years, a Pandemic Rebuilding Plan will expand programs to impact 20,000 students and re-engage those set back by the pandemic. OWE is cultivating a generation of critical thinkers, persuasive writers, and social justice advocates. Our world needs them.