Dear Friends of Project Write Now:
We could not make an impact without YOU!
Thanks to your support …
We have given people of all ages safe spaces to write their stories—building self-awareness, resilience, and confidence.
We have created and deepened connection and community—generating compassion, empathy, and hope.
Is there anything more essential in our world today?
“I’m more brave and outgoing. I never realized what I write could be so powerful.”
“PWN is a place where I can write freely, a place where I can improve my writing skills and talk to others about my ideas.”
“What I have learned is that writing is about being able to be yourself.”
“[Through writing] I can make myself feel relaxed from stressful things. I can feel my mental health improving.”
“I learned that I’m not alone, and if people relate to your piece, they will understand your feelings and use your work to cope too. It’s a healing process that can be shared and I love that.”
Thanks to your generosity …
Some of the community outreach programs we provided this year include:
– The Spoken Word Project at Asbury Park High School
– Weekly writing workshops for the 8th grade AVID class at Red Bank Middle School
– A new after-school writing program at Red Bank Middle School
– A new writing program with teens of Hope Sheds Light
– Six issues of Bridge Ink, our online young adult literary journal, featuring writing from teens all over the world
– PWN Teen Lit Fest, an all-day writing event for more than 75 teens and teachers (save the date for PWN Teen Lit Fest 2022 on April 3!)
– Summer programs for Red Bank Middle School, Red Bank Regional High School, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County (Asbury Park & Red Bank), and Family Based Services Association of New Jersey
– College and scholarship essay support for students at Red Bank Regional High School and Asbury Park High School
– Writing workshops for Shore House, a clubhouse for adults living with mental illness
– A Teacher Writing Collaborative
– A guided journaling program for adults of the Red Bank Public Library
– Weekly Friday drop-in Zoom classes for adults
– A monthly Zoom Open Mic for adults
– 63 adult and 21 youth/teen scholarship seats totaling nearly $14,000 for our fee-based programs
To read more about all of the community outreach programs we provided this year, click here.
We are only $8,340 short of our $50,000 goal! We can reach this goal RIGHT NOW with your help! No amount is too small!
Please join our mission of transforming lives through writing by making a tax-deductible gift today here!
Thank you for your support, kindness, and generosity!
Asbury Park High School
We were thrilled to have spoken word artist Philip J. Curtis aka Midnight join us for The Spoken Word Project this month. Philip Zoomed in from Colorado to perform for us and share his “4 Ps of Poetry” to help students revise their pieces for performance. The students then continued working on their pieces, which they will share during our celebration on January 13. We also invited Pamela Major of Melia Bloom to work with the 12th grade English Honors class, writing and reflecting on the theme of “transitions.” Students wrote about the values most important to them and how they can rely on these values during times of change. We are so grateful to these artists for sharing their passion and expertise with our students.
Every Friday, we meet on Zoom for one hour to write in response to prompts on a designated theme. This month, we explored the themes “Spirit,” “Process,” and “Heat.” Though writers never have to share their work aloud, we always enjoy hearing one another’s pieces and have formed an incredible, supportive community. Join us for our next Lunchtime Write-In to see what our upcoming themes will be!
Red Bank Middle School
In-School Program: 8th Grade
We start every 8th grade AVID class by reading a poem or flash piece. This month, we read “My Name,” by Sandra Cisneros, “Between Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice, Today,” by Emily Jungmin Yoon, and “Winter Letter,” by Huu Thinh. After each reading, instructor Krysta leads us in a guided meditation to open our minds to a more creative space. Our writing prompts this month included: our names and our relationships to them, “today” statements, joy, snow, lights, and dreams. One student shared that he didn’t like his name because it’s so common while another shared that they felt their name was the best one for them. One student shared a line about doors opening for her and another said, “Today I will learn something new.” On our last day before winter break, we took our favorite lines from our works and wrote them on “snowballs” to hang in the classroom windows. We loved decorating the room with our words!
After-School Program: 4th-5th Grades
During our after-school program for 4th-5th graders, we used our notebooks and tried our hand at all different kinds of writing. We used interviews not only to learn about the person we interviewed but also ourselves. We looked at objects and wrote about the memories the objects made us think about and then shared these stories in small groups. On our last day together, we brainstormed holiday and winter words and wrote acrostic poems to bring home to our families. Words such as snowman, elf, cookies, icicle, and fireplace were stretched out down the paper with phrases next to each letter to tell more. The students were able to relax and enjoy an hour of joy writing during this after-school program. We look forward to more sessions and meeting new students in the new year.
After-School Program: 6-8th Grades
In Quest Qlub, our after-school program for 6-8th graders at RBMS, we meditated and did lots of introspective writing. The goal of our club is to help students realize the power behind question-asking, so we encourage them to share their thoughts and remind them that there’s no such thing as a bad question. As we got to know our students and they became more comfortable, we found them sharing more and more. On our last day before break, when the timer went off, students begged for more writing time. “Writing is happening here,” one student declared. We are so proud of the work these students have been doing both internally and externally. We can’t wait to come back for our next Quest Qlub in January!
Red Bank Public Library
We rounded out this year of Guided Journaling with the writers of the Red Bank Public Library exploring the anxiety we’ve been feeling due to Omicron. We also looked at ways we can quiet the inner critic when it comes to looking at our work. We are grateful for our partnership with the Red Bank Public Library and look forward to starting up again in the new year.
Shore House (Long Branch)
This month with the Shore House writers, we read “Eagle Poem,” by Joy Harjo and “White-Eyes,” by Mary Oliver. We then wrote about the things we know to be true and the things we don’t know to be true. We loved seeing how many things we had in common on both lists—things we know (including our names and facts about nature) and things we don’t know (including grappling with our uncertain futures). Our writing opened the door for a great conversation about how it feels having unanswered questions and how we can find comfort in knowing there are some things we know for certain. We also wrote about our experiences with the winter season, the best gifts we’ve ever received, and we made wish lists of what we want for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for the world. On every list: world peace.
Teacher Writing Collaborative
For the last TWC class of this session, we focused on self-care. Using the poem “I Won’t Wash the Dishes Anymore,” by Cristiane Sobral, we wrote about what we will let go of that is no longer working for us. This is an incredible group of teachers who openly share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and we look forward to starting back up in January for another six-week session. The Teacher Writing Collaborative is open to all teachers who are looking for a place to write and connect with other educators. Register now for the winter session, which begins January 20 (5 to 6 p.m.). There is no cost to participate.
Teen Writing Group
Our teen writers had a great session in Teen Writing Group this December! Having a smaller group allowed for more collaboration in how the class ran, so sometimes our teen leaders picked the prompts and activities and other times different students in the group took turns. Each week, one writer also shared a larger piece they had been working on, and the group responded with thoughtful and encouraging feedback. There’s nothing like seeing our teens come together in such a way where they are displaying leadership skills and teamwork at once. These teens are thinking both creatively and critically and always respond with kindness first. Join our meaningful teen writing community by registering for the next session of Teen Writing Group today!
Zoom Open Mic
In early December, we hosted our monthly Zoom Open Mic for adults. It was a small but mighty group that shared poems, flash pieces, and excerpts from bigger works. We love the community that forms when stories are shared, and we are grateful to those who keep coming back each month as well as new attendees. Join us for our next Zoom Open Mic on Friday, January 28, starting at 5 p.m. ET.
Through our mission as a nonprofit organization, we remove barriers to participating in our studio classes by providing full and partial scholarship seats as well as payment plans. Since the pandemic began, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the need for financial assistance and therefore have met that need by offering more scholarship seats. Since January 2021, we have provided 63 adult and 21 youth/teen seats totaling nearly $14,000. For information about our scholarship program or to become a valuable donor providing these seats, please email Jennifer Chauhan at firstname.lastname@example.org.