East Boston High School Girls Get Their Write On
Writing, like any other art, is a passion. Those of us who write do so because we are compelled by something within us (and often, things that are happening around us) that calls to be let out, the parts of ourselves that are powerful, wise, strong, scared, alienated, frustrated, joyful, angry, and proud. The act of writing can be a form of self-recovery, self-assertion, love, or even protest. The power of the word to transform the individual is incalculable.
For many women, writing is a way to find out who you are, to claim your identity and needs in the world. So many women, starting in their youth, are not encouraged to voice themselves, to develop their voices, to tell the world who they are and what they want.
So how can we start to address this problem? GEMMA (Girls, Empowerment, Mentoring, Mastery, Action) is trying to do just that. This new program at East Boston High School aims to support the academic and creative needs of teen girls through empowering them to speak for themselves. CNW is proud and excited to be collaborating with GEMMA by developing and facilitating a bi-weekly writing group with the girls. Janet and I went over to EBHS last week and met with some of the girls who want to be in the group (which will start in the Fall) and I have to say, they were pretty amazing. Not only were they full of personality, they were invested in the act of writing and the formation of this new group. I was asked by one girl if we could write about topics that are important to theirs lives, like teen pregnancy and body image (these topics may correspond to talks given to the GEMMA girls on the weeks that they don’t have writing group). We even talked about releasing a collection of their work! My teacher-sense (like spidey-sense only a bit more fun) tells me that I’m not going to have a problem motivating these girls.
I’ll meet with the girls next week and we’ll set a schedule for the coming school year (including topics they want to write about). I’ll keep you updated with all the things we come up with. Got an idea for us? Shoot me an email or leave it in the comments.