WordPlay Teen Writing Project builds literary culture and community among diverse teens through poetry workshops, spoken word events, publications and educator resources. WordPlay teaches the craft of poetry and self-expression to teens and creates spaces where artistic and civic voices can be amplified. Mentor Writers conduct year-long residencies in middle and high schools and work with teen writers through after school programming. The teens in WordPlay gain valuable literacy and artistic skills through forums where their voices matter most. Project components include: in-school writers’ residency programs, teacher development workshops, monthly teen open mics, weekly intensive after school workshops, daily workshops at T-Steps and Teen 360°, an annual city-wide teen poetry slam festival, publications and summer workshops.
Location: Belaire High, Lee High, McKinley High, Park Forest Middle, Scotlandville Magnet High, LSU Lab, Baker High, Northside High, (Lafayette), Math and Science Academy (Plaquemine), Dutchtown High (Geismar), Jackson Middle (Jackson), Various after school sites
Hours: In-school workshops- varied, WordCrew on Thursdays from 6:15-8:15 PM, and Fresh Heat monthly from 6:30-8:30
Number of Youth Served: 400 in schools, 25 in WordCrew, 200+ at each Freshhhhh Heat
Funding Sources: Louisiana Division of the Arts through the National Endowment of the Arts, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, Louisiana Jazz and Heritage Festival Foundation, earned income funding through fee-for-service programs