Writopia Lab is a non-profit organization that holds after-school, weekend, and summer creative writing workshops for kids ages 8 to 18. The DC branch of Writopia Lab opened in 2009 and has thus far worked with writers from over 220 schools around Greater Washington. Our student-centered workshops are small (6 writers maximum) and are led by published novelists, short-story writers, playwrights, and poets. We aim to:
- Provide young people with the creative inspiration and intellectual environment that may not be available to them at school.
- Help students become comfortable with expressing themselves on paper and to ultimately cultivate (or maintain) in them a love of writing.
- Create and sustain a diverse community of young writers who find commonalities in a shared passion for ideas and expression.
- Offer discounted or waived fees to at least 50% of workshop participants.
Writopia Lab also administers the DC Region of the Scholastic Writing Awards, which is the country’s largest, longest-running, and most prestigious recognition program for teen writers. Last year 225 local teen writers were recognized for their creative writing talent and potential, and 14 were named as National Medalists. Writopia Lab celebrated these students through public readings, an awards ceremony, and the publication of the first ever DC’s Best Teen Writing, sold at the stores of program sponsors, Busboys & Poets and Politics & Prose.
Reach Incorporated develops confident grade-level readers and capable leaders by training teens to teach younger students, creating academic benefit for both the tutor and the student.
To support both participants in the learning relationship, we use a unique, dual-direction intervention with three parts:
Training: Two days each week, program instructors guide our tutors in preparing lesson plans, a process that assists tutors in developing foundational literacy skills.
Tutoring: On two alternating days, our tutors provide reading instruction to elementary school students in need of support to achieve reading proficiency.
Compensation: Our tutors are paid for program participation. They can earn additional compensation through outstanding performance in and after school.
Due to the organization’s promising early results related to reading growth and school engagement, Reach Incorporated has been named as one of the world’s most promising early-stage social ventures by Echoing Green.