River Of Words

Rating: 5 stars   21 reviews

Nonprofit Issues:

Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Environment, Water


933 Parker Street Studio #38 Berkeley CA 94710 USA


River of Words (ROW) is aninterdisciplinary environmental poetry and art program that promotes literacy,the arts and environmental stewardship. River of Words is designed tonurture respect for and understanding of the natural world, to promote literacyin all its forms, and to build community partnerships. The organization aims tofoster place-based, local, interdisciplinary, hands-on education by promotinglocal knowledge of watersheds and the cultures they create; cultivating a senseof connection to place; encouraging action and imagination in young people; helpingthem acquire skills and practice in creating art and poetry; acknowledgingtheir creativity and concerns; and helping them to give back to their local,national and international communities through dissemination of their poetryand art. 


In 15 years, we have trained thousands of educators in ways to incorporate nature exploration and the arts into their work with young people. We have nurtured tens of thousands of young people in kindergarten through 12th grade with curricula, publications, events, exhibitions, etc., helping them to become keen observers of the world around them, and giving them tools for creative expression of their observations. In 2004, River of Words was honored as one of the 100 most effective organizations in the country with an Innovations in Government Award from the Kennedy School at Harvard University.

Target demographics:

We seek to serve the world’s children and their teachers, particularly those with few resources.

Direct beneficiaries per year:

300 teachers trained by River of Words national headquarters staff, another 300-600 trained by our 30 state coordinators. 20,000+ student participants in our free annual poetry and art contest. 200-600 students participating in classroom workshops.

Geographic areas served:



Each year, in affiliation with The Library of Congress Center for the Book, River of Words conducts a free international poetry and art contest for youth on the theme of WATERSHEDS. The contest is designed to help youth explore the natural and cultural history of the place they live, and to express, through poetry and art, what they discover.

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Reviews for River Of Words

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I was a board member for River of Words for three years. I witnessed the impact the River of Words program had on children around the country and the world--both in terms of the educational benefits of the ROW curriculum as well as the creative output and practical engagement that results from their annual Art and Poetry contest. If children are the stewards of the future, River of Words helps prepare them beautifully for this role.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Art and education for kids.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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