Baton Rouge writing organization needs your help

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POSTED: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 7:36pm

UPDATED: Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 6:37pm

A Baton Rouge arts organization is asking for your help. They're trying to highlight the importance of writing for children. They're hoping to raise $15,000 over the next month.

Chancelier Skidmore's passion is seeing kids excited about writing.

"We really are passionate about art in young people's lives," Skidmore said. "With so much of that being cut in our school system, we get a lot of the theater kids who theater programs have been cut."

The staff of Forward Arts wants to provide spoken word and creative writing workshops to some area schools that can't afford them.

"For us, it's creating a literary culture in the classroom and in the school, so that young people are stopping each other in the hallway saying 'Hey I wrote this poem last night, tell me what you think," Skidmore said.

English teachers at McKinley High agree.

"It brings them to a new level of engagement, and it brings in those kids who don't necessarily feel confident in other areas of English," Reagan Samuel said.

"So just having that brought back into the schools and it takes these big ideas and these themes we're reading about like life and death, friendship and love, and it brings it home and it makes it applicable to everyday life," Mark Sampey said.

Last year, the WordPlay Workshop came to McKinley High, but this year, that may not happen.

"I mean, it was a part of McKinley. It was something that we couldn't lose and when we couldn't afford it this year, it was heartbreaking," Shelby Gamble said.

They can't do this without your help.

"We are confident that the community gives young people this opportunity and this resource that helps them vastly in their ability to make good grades in English Class," Skidmore said.

The program's raised nearly $1,000 so far, and the director hopes to reach the goal of $15,000 by the end of January.

Click here if you'd like to help them get to their goal.

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