Recently a friend of mine, Jennifer MacLeod, invited me in to speak with some 6th and 7th graders who participate in the Writers' Room program that she volunteers for. Writers’ Room works with inner-city kids to build lifelong literacy skills through creative writing projects, tutoring and mentorships. It's housed within Queen Alexandra Elementary School and is tended to by many committed, compassionate and talented volunteer tutors.
When Jennifer started working with the kids she helped them create a blog that they named The Wednesday Thursday Crew. There's around 10 kids involved and they make posts about music, Angry Birds, their least favourite movie (spoiler alert: it's Cinderella!), clothes, the best food they ever ate and whatever else comes across their radar. They've got a pretty broad range of interests and are more than 20 years younger than I am so what ends up going on their blog is a super interesting mix of things I rarely ever see as a 35 year old man.
Jennifer asked if I would come in and take a look at their blog, talk about our blog and the similarities and to offer some advice on how they might make theirs better. When I first arrived I asked them how old they thought I was, and they guessed 18. THAT is awesome! Below is a photo that they posted with THIS story about my visit.
Photo: courtesy of The Wednesday Thursday Crew
Halfway through I suggested that they post more photos that they had taken, of the things that they're doing on the weekends or see at school. Basically just injecting more of their experiences into their blog as opposed to it being all stuff that they've found online. When I asked how many of them owned digital cameras and none of them raised their hand I realized that the Canon G11 that's been gathering dust in our office had found its new home, and that the kids would get much more use out of it than we do. So I donated the camera, with the suggestion that each of the kids take it out for a week at a time and then post a blog on The Wednesday Thursday Crew with whatever it is that they captured.
I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing what comes of it, and I'll be sure to share with you once they start blogging the photos they shot!