Title

"Turning Storms into Stories" A Literacy Writing Program for Youth

Location

Scarbrough 4

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

This proposal is related to the "Heart" strand of Social and Emotional Skills because this session will teach participants the main tenets of a unique literacy writing program designed to help students socially and emotionally and help them develop stronger resiliency skills. Facilitator will guide participants through lesson plans that are used in the literacy writing program. Practical application from key components of the program will be demonstrated. Facilitator will illustrate specific steps that are used in the program to "turn storms into stories" within a program.

Brief Program Description

This presentation will focus on teaching participants how to develop and implement a literacy writing program for their programs that is aligned with the National Common Core Standards and the American School Counselor Association Model (ASCA). This program can be used as a method of teaching resiliency skills as well as addressing the social, emotional and academic needs/experiences of youth.

Summary

This session will focus on teaching participants how to develop and implement a literacy writing program for their schools that is aligned with the National Common Core Standards and the American School Counselor Association Model (ASCA). This program can be used as a method of teaching resiliency skills as well as addressing the social, emotional and academic needs/experiences of youth. 1. The participants will be able to identify the main components of the literacy writing program. 2. The participants will be able to describe the alignment of the literacy writing program to the National Common Core Standards and the ASCA Model. 3. The participants will be able to explain the steps needed to create a literacy writing program for their prospective programs. 4. The participants will be able to develop a specific format of a literacy writing program for their prospective program. 5. The participants will be able to describe the specific social and emotional factors and resiliency skills that they can focus on with their students through the use of this program. 6. The participants will be able to explain the social, emotional and academic benefits/affiliation of the literacy writing program. Through the above the participants in this session will be empowered to begin creating a literacy/writing program based upon the main tenets of the "Turning Storms into Stories" program.

Evidence

The National Writing Project (NWP) is the only federally funded program that focuses on the effective teaching of writing (http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/doc/about.csp). The "Turning Storms into Stories" Literacy Writing Program supports this initiative because the goal is to teach students how to empower themselves and to become resilient through the use of written words. It enables students to use the power of the words to “push through their pain” and cultivate and encourage positive strategies of self-expression while learning the core components of writing and publishing literary works. According to the NWP, "Writing in its many forms is the signature means of communication in the 21st century. The NWP envisions a future where every person is an accomplished writer, engaged learner, and active participant in a digital, interconnected world." The diverse strategies and techniques of the "Storms into Stories" program teaches youth how to become these individuals as described by the NWP. The program is based on three of the core principles of the NWP: 1. Writing can and should be taught, not just assigned, at every grade level. Professional development programs should provide opportunities for teachers to work together to understand the full spectrum of writing development across grades and across subject areas. 2. Knowledge about the teaching of writing comes from many sources: theory and research, the analysis of practice, and the experience of writing. Effective professional development programs provide frequent and ongoing opportunities for teachers to write and to examine theory, research, and practice together systematically. 3. There is no single right approach to teaching writing; however, some practices prove to be more effective than others. A reflective and informed community of practice is in the best position to design and develop comprehensive writing programs. There is limited research on the direct connection between creative writing and improved academic achievement levels of youth but the NWP posits "that access to high-quality educational experiences is a basic right of all learners and a cornerstone of equity." This is what my program seeks to accomplish. According to Esterling (1999) " It is widely acknowledged in our culture that putting upsetting experiences into words can be healthy. Research from several domains indicates that talking with friends, confiding to a therapist, praying, and even writing about one’s thoughts and feelings can be physically and mentally beneficial." Based on a study completed by Jabari Mahiri and Soraya Sablo (1996) they found that some African American youth were found to be unmotivated to engage in school-based literacy events because they do not see the relevance of the school curriculum to their lives or, based on prior experiences, they actually fear having to write in school. They were able to draw conclusions about the complex and provocative ways these youth use literate behaviors and strategies to gain voice in and make sense of their social worlds. Recommendations are offered for using African American and youth culture as a bridge to writing development. The "Turning Storms into Stories" program literacy/writing program was developed for students to teach youth how to share their personal stories of tragedy and triumph using a narrative format. Students will learn how to “push through the pain" using written words and writing creatively. Students will also learn the skills and techniques about successfully creating, editing and publishing their stories into E-books and traditional books. All of the above is based upon the practices of the NWP and known research on youth literacy/writing programs and social/emotional development.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Empowerologist, Resiliency Expert, Author and Speaker, Dr. Adair f. White-johnson 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. White-johnson decided to retire from her position as a Professional School Counselor after 26 years so she could “follow her next dream.” She then created The Empowerment House where she coaches teens and women 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 that include the GO HARD and BELIEVE systems she imparts strategies that focus on overcoming odds, controlling anger, creating healthy balances, forgiving techniques, building dreams and reaching destiny points.

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. White-johnson 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. This curriculum recently won the Georgia School Counselor Association State Writer Award for excellence. This is the highest honor for writing given by the organization. As a former Professional School Counselor of the Year and Writer of the Year recipient Dr. White-johnson has also been featured in POSE magazine, several national and international radio shows and is the recipient of several academic and civic awards.

As the author of “How to Get Over It! in 30 Days,” “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. White-johnson focuses on teaching others how become empowered, resilient and ready to positively move forward in their lives. She will release 2 new books this fall that will continue to focus on teaching women and teens how to “push through the pain” and how to “turn their storms into stories.”

Keyword Descriptors

empowerment, writing, social and emotional development, resiliency skills

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 8:30 AM

End Date

3-3-2015 9:45 AM

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Mar 3rd, 8:30 AM Mar 3rd, 9:45 AM

"Turning Storms into Stories" A Literacy Writing Program for Youth

Scarbrough 4

This presentation will focus on teaching participants how to develop and implement a literacy writing program for their programs that is aligned with the National Common Core Standards and the American School Counselor Association Model (ASCA). This program can be used as a method of teaching resiliency skills as well as addressing the social, emotional and academic needs/experiences of youth.