In the Congress Heights neighborhood, one in every three adults lacks a high school diploma and 7% of residents never began 9th grade. For youth at Simon Elementary, Hart Middle, and Ballou High schools, the obstacles to graduation loom large. But DC Creative Writing Workshop believes that, through the power of the written word, students can persevere and flourish. Professional writers-in-residence collaborate with each school’s English teachers to provide intensive literacy instruction and weekly creative writing classes. Young writers also meet after school to discuss great writers, master new vocabulary and literary devices, and build public speaking skills by reciting poetry for their peers. The next step is publication, and literary magazines at all schools showcase student poems and stories. Students in the Drama Club have modernized works by nearly all the classic playwrights (from Sophocles to Aristophanes), then performed and filmed their adaptations; the Workshop stages the premieres – red carpet and all. 500 aspiring writers join each year. You can add your creative power, and creative philanthropy, to the story.
Headquarters: DC-Ward 8
Where They Operate: DC-Ward 8; We specifically work in the Congress Heights area of Southeast, DC. However, students from all over DC attend our after school program, which is held at Charles Hart Middle School.
Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Caucasian; Latino/Hispanic
Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Students
Schools They Work In: Charles Hart Middle School, Ballou High School, Simon Elementary
Awards & Recognition
Each year our students win the Larry Neal Awards, Parkmont Poetry Prizes and other writing contests in the area. This year we had 17 out of the 40 winners of the Parkmont Poetry Prizes and we had winners in two categories at the Larry Neal Awards.
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- $3 million or higher
- $1 million to $3 million
- $500k to $1 million
- The current budget for DC Creative Writing Workshop is: Less than $500k
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