Under a bright Saturday sky, dozens of volunteers from different literacy promotion groups gathered outside of Philadelphia's Franklin Institute for the "Mighty Writers" festival this past weekend. Tables and tents were spread out over a green plaza stuffed with kids who were all excited to learn more about all different kinds of writing (and to win prizes, of course). Rowan's Writing Arts department had our own set-up at "Mighty Writers" Fest this year, inviting any curious kid to add a piece of writing to our magnetic poetry board. The poems ranged from zany fantasy, to poignant observations, and to the kind of avant-garde expressions that only children are capable of crafting! These kids knew their way around their words -- and emojis -- proving that small minds can often contain boundless creative energy.
As one of the student representatives of the Writing Arts table, it brought a smile to my face whenever I saw a kid's face light up at the thought of mashing together a group of words that were distinctly their own. Who knows how many of the children who came to this event will grow up to be professional writers--what really matters is that every single one of them had a creative spark lit up that day. No matter where they take their futures, I hope that these kids are able to hold onto that spark. And for the kids who will one day find themselves on a career path similar to mine -- I hope that they will always be able to locate that spark whenever they need a true North to point their way.
Events like the "Mighty Writers" Fest are essential to nurturing any type of writing passion in young minds. I feel fortunate that our department was able to participate in an event within the same vein as elementary-school book fairs or group story-times, because these types of literacy-promoting events are the foundations for what becomes a young person's love for reading and writing. I'm grateful for having had the opportunity to contribute a teeny-tiny piece to the foundation of a young person's own relationship with the boundless possibilities writing can provide.