Title

"Turning Storms into Stories" How to Create a Literacy Writing Program to Improve Academic Achievement

Focused Area

Youth-At-Risk in Urban Settings

Relevance to Focused Area

This proposal is connected to Urban Settings because it has been a proven strategy used with urban youth to motivate, empower and inspire them to perform better academically through the implementation of a literacy/writing program.

Primary Strand

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance to Primary Strand

The mission of the Writers Academy for Teens (Turning Storms into Stories Program) is to teach students how to empower themselves and to become resilient through the use of written words. The Writers Academy enables students to use the power of the words to “push through their pain,” cultivate and encourage positive strategies of self-expression, self-worth, emotional stability and self-confidence while learning the core components of writing and publishing literary works.

The Writers Academy for Teens was primarily developed to “reach” those “at-risk” and “average” students who deserve the opportunity to achieve greatness as well. The mission strongly supports the concept that the power of written words allows students to filter painful memories and release raw emotions. It is a different, positive and powerful method of coping with lives that students did not create nor have control of.

The Writers Academy for Teens embraces the ideology that writing can reflect “resiliency in the raw” and many struggles for significance for students. The program advocates that if more students had stronger opportunities to express themselves positively via writing then their behavior will change as well and this will be reflected in their academic performance.

Brief Program Description

The purpose of this presentation will be to teach participants the main tenets, strategies, and techniques of a unique literacy writing program designed to motivate, inspire and empower students to "turn their storms into stories" via the written word. This, in turn, increases the students’ academic achievement levels.

Summary

The facilitator will guide participants through the modules used in the "Writer's Academy for Teens" that are used in a literacy writing program. developed for "at-risk" middle and high school students. Practical application from key components of the program will be demonstrated with the use of media (i.e., ppt presentation), group and individual activities. The facilitator will illustrate specific steps that are used in the program that teach students how to "turn storms into stories" via the written word within a school setting.

Objectives of the Session:

1. The participants will be able to identify the main components of the Writer's Academy for Teens.

2. The participants will be able to describe the specific steps used in the Writer's Academy for Teens that teaches the students how to write and publish their books.

3. The participants will be able to explain the steps needed to create a literacy writing program for their prospective schools.

4. The participants will be able to describe the specific resiliency skills that they can focus on with their students through the use of this program to increase academic achievement levels.

5. The participants will be able to explain the social, emotional and academic benefits of the literacy writing program.

This session will focus on teaching participants how to develop and implement a literacy writing program for their schools in an effort to address the needs of middle and high school students.

The program, "Turning Storms into Stories" is currently in use with children in foster car in Fulton/DeKalb Counties in Georgia and in a single gender school in Georgia.

This program is used as a method of teaching resiliency skills as well as addressing the social, emotional and academic needs/experiences of the students in an a effort to increase academic achievement levels.

Evidence

Writing can be used as a method to address internal problems/conflicts with teens. It is a form of expression that allows the students to release emotions and "work through" their feelings. Evidence suggests that it is can be linked to improved academic achievement. See below for a glimpse of this evidence:

1. Waring, Jennifer. A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of Masters of ArtsLanguage: EnglishDate: 2009

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of writing on student achievement. Administrators and educators are constantly looking for ways to increase student achievement, especially since the development of No Child Left Behind. An extensive literature review was conducted as the basis of this study. It showed that regardless of the content area, writing is a tool that can be used in a variety of ways to increase student understanding and learning of subject matter. Students experienced increases in the amount of writing they produced and the amount of writing instruction they were provided. Reading End-of-Grade Test results were compared between eighth graders for two different academic years to see the impact of writing on student achievement. It was found that the students who were subjected to the increase in writing and writing instruction in their language arts class scored higher on standardized test than those students from the previous year who did not received the treatment.

2. http://paradigmmalibu.com/teen-written-narrative-therapy/

Teen Written/Narrative Therapy is a collaborative approach to therapy based on the premise that teens are the experts on their own lives. Instead of viewing struggles as a negative part of the teens themselves, this perspective views problems as separate from the teens and furthermore, teaches that the teens have the strength, skill, ability, belief, and insight necessary in order to change their relationship to the problems. By viewing the problems and struggles as separate from the teens, this perspective helps to encourage teens to evaluate the broader context of their lives and, in a sense, change the “narrative” of their lives through this process.

"Guided writing exercises involve a number of different ways for teens to use the act of writing and processing as a way to access their thoughts and feelings. Very often, it’s not until teens are urged to write down a particular response or expression that they actually discover what they’re feeling, as if forming their experience into words has an ability to uncover layers of resistance and defense mechanisms that may be in place. Through writing, teens might very well not only gain clarity on some of the struggles at work in their lives, but also gain a sense of encouragement and empowerment, from this understanding."

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Multiple Bestselling Author, Publisher, Speaker, Educator and "Empowerologist," Dr. Adair f. White-johnson (affectionately known as "Dr. Adair") is a leading authority on motivating, inspiring and empowering individuals to move towards positive change, become resilient and to bounce back after hitting rock bottom.

Dr. Adair decided to leave her six-figure income job after 26 years so she could “follow her next dream.” She then created The Empowerment House where she coaches women, teens, parents through life changes. She teaches them how to operate and thrive in spite of their circumstances and shares techniques that help them empower themselves to “push through the pain” in their lives. As the creator of The Resiliency Formula, she imparts strategies that focus on overcoming odds, controlling anger, creating healthy balances, forgiving techniques, building dreams and reaching destiny points. Her Wheel of Resiliency introduces 6 stages of self-empowerment that includes rejuvenating natural resiliency. In addition, Dr. Adair created The Johnson Tribe Publishing House (JTP), a full-service agency that empowers, engages, inspires, motivates, promotes and teaches authors the skills of writing and publishing their books.

A State University of New York at Buffalo graduate who earned a Ph.D., a Certificate of Advanced Studies and a Master’s degree, Dr. Adair has provided motivational, creative and unique coaching services for over twenty years. She also created an empowerment and resiliency curriculum for teens. This program is aligned with the current National Common Core Standards as well as the American School Counselor Association National Model. As a Professional School Counselor of the Year and Writer of the Year recipient, Dr. Adair created the "Writer's Academy for Teens" that teaches teens how to "Turn Storms into Stories" She has also been featured in POSE and BOLD magazines, several national and international radio shows and is the recipient of several academic and civic awards.

As the author of “White Girl Speaks! Powerful Words of Inspiration for Leadership and Success in your Life,"How to Get Over It! in 30 Days Parts I and II,” “Get Over It! How to Bounce Back After Hitting Rock Bottom” and “Get Over It! How to Bounce Back After Hitting Rock Bottom for Teens,” Dr. Adair focuses on teaching others how to become empowered, resilient and ready to move positively forward in their lives.

Start Date

10-23-2016 10:00 AM

End Date

10-23-2016 11:00 AM

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Oct 23rd, 10:00 AM Oct 23rd, 11:00 AM

"Turning Storms into Stories" How to Create a Literacy Writing Program to Improve Academic Achievement

The purpose of this presentation will be to teach participants the main tenets, strategies, and techniques of a unique literacy writing program designed to motivate, inspire and empower students to "turn their storms into stories" via the written word. This, in turn, increases the students’ academic achievement levels.