The end of the school year is always bittersweet. We have to say goodbye to the students we’ve been writing with throughout the year. At Red Bank Middle School, we get to see the culmination of their hard work both in the publication of their writing in anthologies and through our Writers Celebration. We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with these talented young writers!
And while we know we are making a difference through our program–strengthening students’ writing and speaking skills as well as building self-awareness, confidence, and resilience–it’s rewarding to see our students recognize the importance of reflective writing and the impact it’s had on their lives.
- Before PWN (start of 7th grade), only 15.8% said they felt confident approaching a writing task.
- After PWN, 84.2% said they feel confident approaching a writing task.
- Before PWN (start of 7th grade), only 10.6% said they felt confident reading their work aloud.
- After PWN, 79% said they feel confident reading their work aloud.
- 84.2% said they are likely or very likely to use writing when dealing with strong emotions.
- 94.7% report that writing and sharing with our group has made them feel more connected to others and less alone.
Bridge Ink 3.3
Looking for a good beach read? Check out our latest issue of our online young adult literary magazine, Bridge Ink Volume 3 Issue 3, at www.bridgeink.org! We have selected pieces from young writers in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and right here in New Jersey! You are sure to be inspired as you read about the joys of nature, struggles and encouragements between friends, fantastical ideas about living in a world of words, and more. By the way, submissions are open year-round and are always free, so submit your work today at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be published in a future issue!
The Resiliency Project @ Long Branch High School
On Tuesday, June 4, we held our last session with the group of girls we were writing with at Long Branch High School as part of our Resiliency Project (helping teens build self-awareness, confidence, and resilience through writing). The girls created a list of people they are grateful for–including their grandmother, teacher, friend, therapist–and then hand wrote notes to them on beautiful stationery. We spoke about how expressing gratitude is a wonderful way to get out of our heads and into a more positive mindset. This group is so creative, insightful, and special, and we will miss them! One of the seniors gave us a hug and exclaimed, “I wish you had been here last year!”
This month at Shore House, we read “Ode to My Socks,” by Pablo Neruda, and then wrote our own odes to typically overlooked objects–our shoes, beds, phones, toothbrushes, and more. We discussed how it’s important to take time to recognize what we have and to find gratitude in the little things. As always, we were so inspired by the Shore House members!
With the active seniors at the Woman’s Club of Red Bank this month, we read the first chapter of “The Middle Place,” a memoir by Kelly Corrigan, and discussed the difference between narrative and reflective writing. We then wrote about influential people in our own lives, from friends to children to grandparents. After sharing our work, we then read “Courage,” by Bernard Waber, and wrote our own list of “Courage is …” lines. For “homework,” we asked participants to choose one of their lines and show us the story behind it. We can’t wait to see what they come up with when we visit them next month!