Dear WriteBoston Community,

I hope you and your loved ones are healthy and safe. In this disquieting time, I want you to know that we at WriteBoston remain committed to our core mission: empowering youth with communication skills for successful futures.

Though schools are closed, our staff are working remotely to deliver our mission. 

Virtual Teens in Print

Teens in Print staff are meeting virtually to connect with students, comment on article drafts, and share the experience of journalism. We are currently providing stipends for students to create short perspective pieces about their experience during COVID-19, and to write news articles that will be published online. For this new cycle, students have already pitched articles about toxic masculinity, racial tensions between Dominicans and Haitians, and the many ways COVID-19 is impacting essential routines.

In all, 29 youth have signed up to continue programming and receive stipends. Staff continue to work with youth remotely (via video and phone conference and Google comments) during this time. The opportunity to stipend students during this crisis has become even more important, as many of our youth and their families are coping with reduced wages and hours, job loss, and financial uncertainty. 

Virtual Coaching and Professional Development

On the professional development side, our instructional coaches are supporting teachers as they pivot to teaching students online and in challenging new contexts. Our coaches are making themselves available to provide resources and guidance to keep students connected and learning. Currently, they’re supporting over 60 teachers across 8 schools and an out-of-school-time pilot partnership.

Additionally, coaches have developed a weekly newsletter for teachers that provides a compilation of curated digital tools and websites, and teacher stories about great lessons, quarantine creativity, and other inspiring anecdotes/examples. This resource is available to all educators that WriteBoston works with. You can sign up to receive the newsletter.

The Lasting Impact of Interrupted Learning

Students are facing major ruptures in their education. Our most vulnerable youth are most affected. WriteBoston is committed to keeping our programs going, even virtually, and to ensure we can physically be there for teachers and students when we come together again.

Right now, we’re leaning in to show up for our kids. Like many adults, youth are grappling with isolation, discrimination, job loss, caring for their families’ youngest, uncertainty, and fear. In all of this, we do not want to lose their voices.

Thank you for your friendship and support, now and always. We are all worried about the future, but there is strength in our community and in our youth. Our students are smart, hard-working, and courageous young people. Your friendship and support allows their voices to be heard now, and moving forward.

We’ll keep communicating, and I hope you will, too. 

Be safe and well,

Sarah Poulter and the WriteBoston Staff:
Elvis, Liberty, Carla, Jasmine, Annie, Kelly, Liz, Sarah R., Anne, and Scarlett