Families from Generation Hope, a DC nonprofit dedicated to setting up teen parents and their children for success, gathered in our writing center just before Halloween to explore self-reflective writing in a comfortable space.
The two-hour community workshop began with a pizza party. Excited toddlers, students, parents, and grandparents settled in—laughing, making small talk, and getting ready to celebrate one other and explore through writing.
Before long, we traded in pizza for pencils. While grandparents and volunteers read to and played with the youngest children, the rest of the students and their parents started in on various writing activities at stations set up around the 826DC writing center.
The activities included six-word memoirs, letters to their future selves, personal narrative writing, writing about favorite summertime activities, and writing about childhood memories. Everyone worked at their own pace, earning a sticker on their activity “passport” with every station they visited.
“The room’s atmosphere was warm in that tender way that only a community of those who truly enjoy each other’s company could be,” said Izzy Perez-Lugones, the 826DC intern who designed and facilitated the workshop’s writing activities.
“Our goal with this workshop was to foster a comfortable environment for these families to explore their writing in, and from the feedback I think we were successful. There was no rush to produce a product like a chapbook, just ample time to share, talk, and create.”
As the workshop drew to a close, we came together to share our writing and to reflect.
One mother shared that, as a child, she used to write with her own mother, and that this workshop had re-inspired her to continue that tradition.
With encouragement, a young student shared her six-word memoir: “‘Life is hard, but keep going.’”
We ended the workshop by distributing a packet of reading and writing resources for students, as well as kindergarten readiness resources, to all of the families present. That packet is also available for download here.
All of us at 826DC would like to thank Generation Hope for a truly magical afternoon!
To learn more about them and their work, you can visit their website here.