826 Valencia’s In-Schools program is back in full swing! In our inaugural project for the 2013-2014 school year, we supported nearly one hundred eighth-graders from James Lick Middle School with memoir writing. Over the course of a week, tutors worked with writers in small groups as they progressed from plot diagrams to well-developed drafts, capturing a significant event from their lives. Along the way, tutors helped students incorporate vivid descriptions, figurative language, and a central theme.
The eighth-graders’ stories showcased a remarkable candor and diversity of experience. Some were effervescent and humorous, while others were deeply personal. This memoir project was the first of many narrative writing projects we’ll complete this fall. In the coming weeks, 826 will partner with middle-school and high-school classrooms across the district as students compose short stories, autobiographical essays on group identity, personal statements, and more.