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“Writing Our Lives” workshops teach power and liberation through creative writing

On Saturday, February 9, 50 students in grades 6-8 at Danforth Middle School will have the opportunity participate in creative writing and read/listen to social and political writing that has the power to affect their every day lives. “Writing Our Lives: FREE Writing for Empowerment and Liberation” is a read in/write out workshop sponsored by the Syracuse University School of Education and its Reading and Language Arts Center. It will be held at Danforth Middle School, 309 W Brighton Ave, from 9:30 am – 1:00 pm. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

SU Assistant Professor Marcelle Haddix began the Writing Our Lives project in 2009 in response to parents’ concerns about their urban students’ lack of interest and aptitude in reading and writing.

“With the increased pressure on our schools and teachers to meet certain demands in the classroom, we have to find time and space for our students to participate in more authentic kinds of writing,” Haddix says. “This is what we’re doing here.”

This is the second Writing Our Lives workshop hosted for Syracuse City youth this year. The fall 2012 Writing Our Lives event held at Nottingham High School drew over 100 youth in grades 6-12, and 16 different themed workshops were offered to participants.

Saturday’s event at Danforth will be scaled down to meet the needs of the school’s middle school students, and will include such workshops as, “Poetry for the People—Your Voice Need to BE Heard,” “My Dungeon Shook: Liberation through Literacy,” and “Malcolm X: Freedom & Education.”