We believe that the life of the students serves as the primary text for our introductory writing workshops. In this way, we work to draw out the stories of the students before engaging in assigned readings. We have found that as students cultivate and apply their voices they are better equipped to draw enriching parallels between their personal narratives and those of Ernest Hemingway, Richard Wright, Toni Morrison and so on.
Youth Speaks currently offers a new integrated model of residencies for high schools. One of the big changes in our new residency model is that we are asking schools to fundraise. The New Youth Speaks Residency Program will help position arts education practices back at the center of the school’s life. Youth Speaks is making a sustained commitment to identify donors to partner with individual schools in an effort to help youth find, develop, publicly present and apply their voices as agents of change in their own school communities. If schools are willing to do this, we are prepared to match it at 5 to 1 ratio.
These standards-based residences are facilitated by trained Youth Speaks Poet Mentors, who partner with teachers to bring high-level creative writing and performance poetry workshops into the classroom. Curricula is often developed in partnership with classroom teachers, and is designed to help students bring their own personal narratives into dialogue with the issues and themes already being studied in the classroom.
The New Youth Speaks Residency Program includes:
- 72 Hours of Classroom Workshops (36 hours per semester)
- Two 10-Week On-Campus After-School Workshops (2 hrs per week)
- Support of a SLAM (Student Led Arts Movement) Club on Campus
- $500 Stipend for Student SLAM Club Leader
- Membership in SLAM Union (Bay Area Wide Youth Leadership Group)
- $1,000 Stipend for Lead Teacher
- Participation in the UDPS (Unified District Poetry Slam Program)
- Mentor Support for UDPS students
- Participation in the SFUSD or OUSD Slam Program SF & Oakland High Schools
- 20 Tickets to the Grand Slam Finals of the Annual Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam
- 20 Tickets to the Annual Bringing the Noise for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Event
- Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers
- Field Trip Opportunities to Theater Performances and Youth Forums
- Inclusion in Bay Area-Wide Anthology
- School Specific Publication or Culminating Campus Event
In the 2015-16 academic year, Youth Speaks is offering five year-long residencies at designated public high schools in Oakland and San Francisco. These workshops are meant to both complement academic rigor and encourage artistic creativity.
To request a residency contact Aimee Espiritu at firstname.lastname@example.org.