When I reached the cold state covered in snow
I was alone, I was confused
The high school, a new school
Surrounded by different people | People who don’t look like me | Walking in between them feeling like an alien
Sitting beside them
in a dead classroom
I didn’t feel their atmosphere Avoidant, disconnected like Wi-Fi
But I came from worse than that.
Drop of Melanin and Blood
There’s something about my brother that scares me.
He’s black and a man.
He’s a black man in a world where his skin symbolizes weapon.
He’s a black man in a place where his skin symbolizes thug.
How can he move through the world
when his own skin is a shield for protection
and a weapon for destruction?
The way black men walk in this world portrays them.
The way black men walk in this world scares them.
Girls Can Speak for Themselves
I grew up reading about girls—because boys had cooties. I read about younger girls who played dress-up and had tea parties, and I read about older girls who spent hours carefully applying makeup, had elaborate sleepovers and slammed lockers in other girls’ faces. As my height crept upwards, I began to realize the lives of these girls barely resembled my own. Sure, I played with Barbie dolls and sang Hannah Montana karaoke, but I also asked for homework for Christmas and had mud fights with my sister in the riverbed near my grandmother’s house. I wanted to meet characters who were like me: characters who loved to explore and learn and not just flirt with boys.
Tick tock. Load. Shoot.
Death has been the hand that massages his shoulders
builds him up with cement and mortar and blood, fashions limbs,
but allows him to live, pushed under the ground in the Florida Sunshine.
Three times. Four.
Her mother brushed the tangles out of her hair in long, thick strokes, braided it and
tied it with a yellow bow. Her white canvas shoes are now a splotchy red
lying out to dry in the Florida Sunshine,
Sunshine, created by thousands of candles in the night
Why Support Us?
The Telling Room began as a grassroots group of volunteer writers and educators fueled by a belief in the power of the written word to change our community for the better. Your belief and financial support makes it possible for The Telling Room to be what it is today: a thriving nonprofit organization with a paid staff of twelve, three interns, a volunteer teaching artist in residence, and 250 volunteers serving over 4,000 students each year. We are a registered 501(c)(3) organization, so all donations are tax deductible. Tax ID # / EIN: 74-3136956
Help us write our story:
$50 allows one high school senior to attend an intensive college essay workshop.
$100 gives students an afternoon of afterschool programming in Writers Block.
$250 gives a teacher two classroom sessions of customized creative writing programming.
$500 provides for the professional publishing of our Young Emerging Authors’ books.
$1,200 gives a teacher access to an in-depth writing residency for an entire class.
$2,200 sponsors one student in our award-winning Young Writers & Leaders program.
Why Support Arts Education?
All of our core programs are 100% free to students and their families, ensuring that the students who need our services most – the students who are least likely to have a voice in the community – can participate. Your support is crucial to keeping those programs alive. Through skilled, creative, and resourceful program delivery, we minimize overhead and maximize impact. The majority of our programs cost less than $200 per student annually, and formal assessments of our programs show that Telling Room students show significant improvement in their writing, social, emotional, and academic skills. Thank you for your generous support of The Telling Room.