The Telling Room Overview
Target demographics: We serve a diverse group of students aged 6-18 in the Greater Portland area that includes: children and young adults who are a part of Maine’s growing community of immigrants and refugees, students with emotional and behavioral challenges, students in alternative education programs, homeschoolers enthusiastic to join a creative community, and passionate young writers who want additional support and guidance.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,200
Someone who had 3 hours of volunteer time could: lend their time to our special events and projects with youth, teach a workshop, help with behind-the-scenes work in our office, or offer one-on-one support to a young writer afterschool.
Programs: Since 2004, The Telling Room has offered programs designed to improve students’ literacy skills and powers of expression, which are vital to their future success. All of our programs give students a chance to work one-on-one with adult writers, educators, and artists. At our writing center in downtown Portland, we hold fun, innovative workshops, offer afterschool tutoring, and host storytelling field trips for school groups from all over Maine. We also lead workshops, at local schools and community organizations; bring acclaimed writers to Maine to give public readings and work in small groups with student and adult writers; publish bestselling anthologies of student work; and carry out community-wide storytelling projects.
Research indicates that students who participate in arts programs like The Telling Room’s
• Are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
• Can raise their grades by one letter in the course of a school year
• Strengthen their problem-solving and critical thinking skills
• Are two times less likely to engage in risky behaviors