Write Who You Are

Write Who You Are

NLD ID #89572
Write Who You Are logo

Contact Information

1100 Harvard St NW
The Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School
Washington, DC 20009

Primary Contact

Kristen Zory King

(301) 654-8664


Hours of Operation

Varies depending on class schedule

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Program Overview

Since 2015 The Writer's Center has organized and funded the Write Who You Are program through which English language learners at the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School give voice to the stories that immigration statistics do not. Students work with a local author to study poetry and the personal essay as powerful vehicles for exploring who they are, honing literacy skills learned in the school's cutting edge ESL and workforce development curriculum. The majority have never taken part in any form of creative writing prior to the program.

Endeavoring to preserve their identity in the course of integrating a new culture and economy, participants write about work, family, their home countries, their vision of community, and the internal conflicts wrought by displacement. Their stories represent the landscape of newcomers in an ever-evolving America and the power of literature and fellowship to give those who are often invisible a voice.

Approximately 80 students participate in the program each year by taking part in a weekly course that spans the entire academic semester as well as a noontime drop-in writers' group.

"If poetry can make a tiny positive wave on the lake of human beings and society, if it can make us and anything around us warm and healthy, then the value of poetry seems to be enough."—Eunjin, a student from the program

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Cost Info

The Writer's Center partners with the school to include creative writing workshops during English language learning courses at the Charter School for adults. Some funding is provided by the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, the school chips in a little, and The Writer's Center bears the bulk of the cost, which is primarily for instructor salary.

Student and Volunteer Success Stories

"If poetry can make a tiny bit positive wave on the lake of human beings and society, if it can make us and anything around us warm and healthy, then the value of poetry seems to be enough."—Eunjin, Write Who You Are participant

"If it takes six weeks to write one poem, that's okay," said program instructor Naomi Ayala. "I've been doing this for a long time, and I'm still captivated. Everybody has their own story. It will live long after the program. These students will become less invisible. That invisibility can be incapacitating."

"Before the "Write Who You Are Program", our students rarely had the opportunity to develop this story to its fullest potential, says Jorge Delgado, the Sonia Gutierrez Campus principal. "Through this program, students are able to improve their writing and language usage by writing poetry and essays in the form of personal narratives. Students also learn the value of feedback and collaboration through participation in student-centered focused feedback groups."

This program listing was last updated: January 12, 2017.

All information has been provided by this organization. Do you see outdated information? Please contact NLD Support.

Education services

  • Read and write better
  • Learn English

Instruction Type

  • In-person