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Spotlight: The Art of Literacy

Photo courtesy of Page15
Photo courtesy of Page15

A nonprofit called Page 15 has partnered with the Orlando Museum of Art to pilot a young writers’ workshop for fifth through 12th graders. The idea is to get kids out of the classroom and put them in a creative space to get their creative writing juices flowing.

"Well, literacy is an art; it's a language art. Language can't be taught, it's something that you practice and it's a learned skill much like the disciplines of learning an instrument or becoming any type of refined or successful artist," said Paul Driscoll, educational programs director at Page 15.

"You need a lot of quality repetitions, you need some good feedback and some good coaching and then you need a great environment. You need an environment that is creative and inspiring."

The Orlando Museum of Art is providing that space. The students aren't given a prompt to write about. They can write about anything they want, anything that inspires or motivates them.

"We're often raised in a punitive environment when it comes to language. When we're writing things for educators, when we're writing things for these high-stakes tests, like that are going on right now in this season, it's debilitating to writers. It's really difficult to write with confidence and write freely when you have the ever present hand of those punitive punishments for not being correct, or being wrong, or making a mistake," said Driscoll.

This is the first semester of the program, which will run until May. And then the plan is for it to pick back up in the fall.