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First graduating class of Spoken Interludes Next – May, 2000 –
Spoken Interludes is the primary program of Wordsville Inc, a non-profit 501(c)3 arts organization. Wordsville’s commitment is to develop, nurture, and present writing in our community through the Spoken Interludes reading series and through Spoken Interludes Next Outreach Writing Program for at-risk children and the disenfranchised elderly.
Spoken Interludes Next is an eight week writing program where at-risk youth or the elderly work in small groups with professional writers to learn how to write their own short story. The program culminates in a graduation reading for the students that family, friends, and the public attend for free.
According to an article in the LA Times, 1 out of 3 students in the LA Unified School System drops out of high school. Not only are the students who participate in Spoken Interludes Next scoring an average 20% higher than their fellows on the English Language Arts section of the state required Exit Exams, but their teachers tell us of a renewed commitment and excitement these kids have for learning. Our program ensures that the next generation receives the literacy skills they need and deserve, while providing them with mentoring in communication skills, resourcefulness, and self-esteem.
Students in our program working with a writer
“Spoken Interludes Next nurtures the stories of youth who otherwise feel forgotten, and contributes to these students’ sense of hope and relevance.” Odus Caldwell, Principal of William Tell Aggeler School for Boys
Spoken Interludes Next is currently serving students in Los Angeles at:
Downtown Business High School – serving inner city children
William Tell Aggelar School – a facility for boys in the juvenile detention system
Academy of Environmental and Social Policy at Roosevelt High School – a high school in the LA Unified Public School System serving under-privileged youth
Queerwise – for elderly and disenfranchised GLBT
In New York, our program reaches children at:
Mt Kisco Group Home – a home for boys in the foster system
Old Mamaroneck Group Home – a home for girls in the foster system
Blythedale Children’s Hospital – a hospital for children with complex medical and rehabilitative needs
Hawthorne Cedar Knolls – a school for developmentally disabled and emotionally disturbed youth
Southern Westchester BOCES for Incarcerated Youth at Westchester County Correctional Facility – for young males in prison
“For writers to work with these students, hear their ideas, and help them tap into their imagination to write a story is an incredible experience for these kids. At the end of this program, the students have a much greater sense of the elements of a story because they have been writers themselves. We see a huge difference.” Sam Dovlatian, Coordinator of Student Services, Downtown Business High School
Spoken Interludes Next would not be possible without the incredible support, commitment, and time of our West Coast Educational Program Director Michael Kearns and our East Coast Educational Program Director Deborah Jurkowitz. And special thanks to the many gifted writers who teach our classes.
“The students that attend our schools are probably the neediest students in NY State. However, we receive the least resources to educate them. Your program will go a long way in helping to plug the holes that have occurred in their educational experiences.” Dr. Harold Coles, Superintendent of Schools, Abbott Union Free School District, New York
Spoken Interludes Next holds an Ongoing Book Drive to benefit the underprivileged children at Riverside Pediatrics Clinic in Yonkers, New York, a medical clinic that provides free medical services. Through our efforts, over 3000 books have been distributed freely to these youth, helping them enjoy the world of reading. If you would like to contribute books, please contact us.
If you are interested in teaching in our outreach programs in LA or in NY, or would like more information, please contact us. If you are interested in being part of the community of donors that keeps our programs going, please click here.
Book Drive Books at the Clinic
Some programs are supported in part by Poets & Writers through grants it has received from The James Irvine Foundation and the Hearst Foundations.