By Molly Mitzner

Last week, Kimball Elementary partnered with 826DC to lead a series of creative writing workshops. 826DC is a nonprofit organization focused on encouraging creative writing among students and building strong writing skills. At Kimball, we promote a strong culture of literacy, so bringing 826DC to Kimball to lead a series of workshops has been a perfect fit!

On Tuesday, Americorps and Public Allies members Derek and Joanay led a session for Kindergarten and 1st grade students in after school. They inspired students to create their own character by asking key questions about the characters’ qualities, successes, ambitions and flaws. Students were then able to illustrate their character and convey some of their stories with it.

Wednesday’s session focused on students in 2nd and 3rd grades. Derek and Joanay again encouraged students to create a character. This time, they extended the ideas from the sessions targeted at younger students, and encouraged this group to create comic strips for their character. Students were able to draw and write a dialogue sequence to practice their understanding.

Fourth and 5th graders on Thursday also created characters and comic strips, but continued to take the storyline further by using a guided worksheet to create a story about the character. Students’ heroes ranged from Super City Year Corps Members, to Cheetah Girl, to Fire Boy, and well beyond. Our students extended their imaginations and created something unique to represent themselves.

In the fall, Kimball Elementary scholars published a literary magazine, titled Ubuntu. All grades were able to submit to share their personal, written works. This spring, there will be a second issue of Ubuntu Literary Magazine published. Students will have the opportunity to expand upon these creations and submit them to the magazine. Thanks to the help of 826DC, students have had opportunities to think innovatively about new ways to express themselves!

Want to know more about 826DC? Check out their website: http://826dc.org/

molly_mitznerMolly Mitzner, author, is a corps member serving at Kimball Elementary School.

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