Dallas City of Learning Partners: The Writer’s Garret

Established: 1994 in Dallas, Texas.

About: The Writer’s Garret fosters the education and development of readers, writers, and audiences by putting them in touch with each other, with quality literature, and with the communities where they live and write. Through community events, outreach projects, and professional development programs, The Writer’s Garret builds a pool of readers and writers passionate about the development and dissemination of literature, reading, and writing. Other paramount goals include: educate our young to understand, appreciate, and support the impact of literature, reading, and writing; provide opportunities for the education and betterment of individuals and communities through enhanced reading and writing skills that cultivate an appreciation of quality literature and critical thinking; enable wide and equal access to the stories, letters, and cultural ideas that underscore and challenge our most recognized and cherished ideologies; and strengthen the infrastructure of educational, literary, and cultural partnerships capable of furthering the impact of literature, reading, and writing.

Why is Summer Learning so Important?
“Minds are like plants that need to be watered,” says Audrey Turner, Assistant Program Specialist, The Writer’s Garret. “Summer learning is important because it helps students continue intellectual growth through experiential learning. These learning opportunities are often in places new to students, with strangers who become friends. Students are provided outlets to explore their interests without the pressures of the classroom or the routine of the school year. Summer learning upsets still air in students’ souls by watering their minds.”

Why Partner with Dallas City of Learning?
“The Writer’s Garret is expanding its reach to be more connected to a digitalized world,” says Turner. “Partnering with Dallas City of Learning is a way to build relationships with our community and offer enrichment opportunities that can be accessed at a student’s convenience. In addition, this partnership allows The Writer’s Garret to be part of a greater network of learning and exposes us to new frontiers of education so we can better serve our students.”

How Does Your Participation in Dallas City of Learning Benefit The Writer’s Garret Kids?
“Participating in Dallas City of Learning allows The Writer’s Garret to offer innovative resources to students,” says Turner. “Through its Local XPs, students are introduced to new views of literature and writing with others who share their passions. True creative expression is not bound by steadfast rules, and Dallas City of Learning provides a great platform to break out of the box! The engagement of students across a digital format allowing them to decide what and how they learn is a great way to not only teach, but also to show students how they can teach themselves. Digital XPs allow for students to be their own instructors, and provide an empowering sense of agency often missing in the traditional student-teacher relationship. Plants able to find creative ways of reaching sunlight are the ones who bloom most vibrant. Our participation with Dallas City of Learning will cause interest in writing to bloom into lifelong passion.”

What is your vision and passion for the future of education?
“The Writer’s Garret envisions a future in which quality education is accessible for all,” says Turner. “It fills the gap often left when classrooms are unable to offer creative outlets for students, and believes that education lives in experiences. Our passions are to help students find words for these experiences, instill confidence to know that someone is listening to their words, and to give them the tools to make themselves heard.”

– Mario Tarradell