For the majority of each day, the fourth floor library at Samuel Stern MS 7 is empty. Due to the school’s lack of resources, there is no dedicated staff member to manage the space, and the majority of the books on the shelves are age-appropriate for first graders, not middle school students. But beginning this Fall, 826NYC will be moving in, fixing up the library, and opening our first full-time In-Schools program, the Writers’ Room.
The Writers’ Room will serve 311 students in sixth through eighth grade with year-round, daily writing and literacy support. Our Writers’ Room Coordinator will work with the teachers at the school, assisting them in creating engaging and imaginative writing lessons that 826NYC volunteers will help to execute. So whether it’s sonnet-writing tied to a Shakespeare unit, lab-report writing for Science class, or music appreciation essays for the music curriculum, the 826NYC Writers’ Room will be there.
Teachers will also be able to recommend struggling students come to the Writers’ Room for one-on-one support during their free periods or over their lunch hour. Each week over 75 826NYC volunteers will ensure that the students at MS 7 and Global Tech Prep receive the individualized support and feedback they need to become confident students and skilled writers.
Of the students attending MS 7 and Global Tech Prep, 100% live in homes that are at or below 185% the poverty line; 25% are in transitional or foster housing; and 38% have special learning needs. The Writers’ Room will be a creative educational space for these young-people to safely discuss and express their ideas. Over the course of its first year the 826NYC Writers’ Room will publish ten chapbooks of student writing and one perfect bound anthology collecting selections of each of the students’ writing.
More news to come soon about the ways you can get involved and support 826NYC’s first Manhattan outpost!