We’re delighted to introduce Sara Jackson, 826DC’s new School Residency Coordinator! Sara’s here to lead our Young Authors’ Book Project (YABP) as well as other in-school residencies throughout the school year.
A longtime writing tutor from Massachusetts, Sara discovered her love for classroom teaching as an AmeriCorps member of City Year DC. When Sara isn’t supporting students, you can find her writing poetry, playing tennis, or reading!
Sara already brings a wonderful energy to our team and we’re excited for you to get to know her better.
In the meantime, check out this Q&A with Sara:
Name: Sara Jackson
Title: School Residency Coordinator
Hometown: Springfield, Massachusetts
What drew you to 826DC?
I resonated with 826DC’s mission to help students develop lasting and positive relationships with writing. My time as a tutor and in the classroom allowed me to see that many students dislike writing because they don’t have many positive memories associated with the act. At 826DC I have the opportunity to change that, to help students explore and use their imagination, to have autonomy over their process and the product. I was drawn to the limitless potential 826DC showcases, and am excited to see students gain positive memories that allow them to have a long-lasting understanding of the value that writing can bring to their lives.
Growing up, what was your favorite book?
Growing up I can’t say I had a favorite book, but one book that has always stuck with me is Mary Downing Hahn’s Wait Till Helen Comes. It’s a captivating story about a young girl who is being haunted by a ghost in her new home. The creepy factor is on 100 and the suspense builds beautifully. Helen is one crafty ghost and Mary Downing Hahn is one talented author.
Bonus: Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten is my all-time favorite novel. She is the ultimate worldbuilder.
If you were a magician, what would be your signature magic trick?
I think my signature trick would be hypnotizing my audience. My friends and family have always said I possess the power of persuasion. If there’s a mind that needs swaying, I’m most likely a part of the conversation. As a magician, I can only assume that I would be very skilled at convincing others that they should quack like a duck for an hour.
What inspired you to get involved with this kind of work, and why do you think it’s so important?
I’ve always had a passion for reading and writing. My favorite subject in school was English, and I knew whatever I decided to do in life it would involve literature and creative writing in some shape or form. Then, junior year of high school, I volunteered at a middle school to tutor 6th graders in English Language Arts. I found so much joy in helping others comprehend concepts through collaboration and shared knowledge. It also sparked a newfound passion for taking on the literacy challenges present in education.
A strong belief I have is that true change comes from community healing and growth; I’ve committed myself to being a part of the solution for my community. This work lets me merge my passion for literacy and teaching with my commitment to community growth and positive change.