I was introduced to Get Lit when a friend invited me to see DANTE, a play written and performed by the Get Lit Poets. Not only was I blown away by the students' art and talent, that night, I was inspired to face a difficult personal decision that I had been avoiding. Later that week, I returned to a second screening of the play, and again was so impressed. I decided that I wanted to give back to the students and support Get Lit's mission in any way that I could, because they had given me such a huge gift. I decided that day to join their Free Verse Board for emerging professionals. As someone whose worked in education and coaching my entire life, I see Get lit as a model for what education should be - something that engages the senses, emotions, and imaginations of young people, as well as inspires them to be change-makers in their communities. Get Lit accomplishes this mission through a literacy curriculum designed to be simple, yet profound. Get Lit's programs and poetry competitions provide passionate young artists and creatives a space to develop their skills and have access to the equipment, mentorship, and resources they need to bring their visions to life - on paper on in digital media. This is exciting because it is art and media that influences culture, popular opinion, activism and ultimately policy reform that creates safer, more just communities. Get Lit's work in education goes beyond the classroom and cultivates students who are empowered to use their voice to make change in big ways. I am excited to volunteer my time in supporting their mission and vision.
Everything that Get Lit-Words Ignite does is golden! They are helping and inspiring young people throughout LA and the world. In a moment where everyone needs a channel of expression and connection, Get Lit offers both in the most profound and beautiful manner. Plus, Get Lit is consistently inspiring students to use writing as a tool of expression and healing. I am honored to work with them as a Board member, visiting artist and more.
"Truly life-saving & changing" is not a cliche when describing Get Lit. As a student who grew up through Get Lit's Saturday Class, GLP, and now Literati program, I have witnessed firsthand the real magic that Get Lit shares with its young people.
My first big experience with Get Lit was when they came to my middle school. A handful of young adults built a stage with their words and enlighten a syrup-sticky auditorium full of pimply-middle schoolers. I was fortunate to be in the crowd because my school had Get Lit's curriculum. This show, also known as a Blitz, was electric! Mila Cuda, Pathum Madigapola, and Kyland Turner performed, sending their stories through the crowd like shock waves. Weaving what was original to them into poems.
I am now close friends to those 3 super stars. Because when you join Get Lit, you become family. In their Saturday classes, young writers grow beyond where their roots and love for poetry started. And you learn that your peers are not your competition, but your comfort.
All throughout my years at Get Lit I have felt at home(not a cliche!) Every single poet you meet sees you and welcomes you. Every teacher and staff member shines a light on your voice and guides you. I am the whimsical person I am because of Get Lit. Not because they taught me to be this but because their specialty is seeing YOU, that soft person hidden away inside themselves needing love to grow. And so I grew and become more myself and wrote and performed and still see myself today in every young person who needs poetry, who needs Get Lit.
I have been aware and involved with Get Lit - Words Ignite nearly since its inception. Founder Diane Lane and her husband Tim do amazing work to help young people gain confidence, a vision and a path to a better life. The Get Lit staff are selfless in their dedication, planning, organization and fulfillment and follow through of their plans. Every time I check in with Diane and the Get Lit players to see what they have going on and hear the plans and strides they have made, I am truly amazed. The work that is accomplished and the advancements that young people make are typically the progress that big corporations make. But they accomplish so much with so little because they share a passion and a heart for the opportunity and the chance to make a positive contribution to life and to the lives of others. This program provides an opportunity to positively affect generations. I find what they do and accomplish simply remarkable. They make a difference; a clear, positive difference.
My daughter Violeta began her 5th grade below average in reading and fluency. With only 3 months of attending the Get Lit program in Fall 2016 her literacy and fluency scores soared up to above average by Spring. Her MAP scores in Literature, Informational Text and Vocabulary Acquisition went from 212 to 219 in one quarter.
I believe that Get Lit has given my daughter lifelong learning, in communication skills, and an increased self-esteem, inspiring her to question the “why” of the world. It should not be overlooked that Get Lit’s program includes teaching professionalism, respect and punctuality; values that should be instilled before our youth enter high school and begin navigating their future.
She has learned to engage in the critiquing process of writing such as the elements of fiction, poetry and plays. She has an awareness for social justice in today’s turbulent and inflammatory political setting. Violeta has learned to engage in meaningful conversations far beyond her age.
Most importantly it should be noted that the amazing, talented and truly caring, teachers are the real gems of this treasure of talent. Get Lit has created a priceless unique and safe space for our youth to create. Not only has she gained literacy skills, she has gained breadth and depth of humanity.
As a result, my daughter is now a 14 year old LatinX spoken word artist. At just 10 years old, she became the youngest performer with Get Lit-Words Ignite; performing classic and original poems to promote literacy and language arts in schools.
She is a published poet who uses her words to powerfully cope with stressors in her life and to advocate for humanity. She speaks on climate change, LatinX-girl power, immigration reform, DACA and gun violence. Most recently her poem on gun violence was one of 3 in the country chosen for publication by CNN. Her most recent performances include opening for Jane Fonda and Joaquin Phoenix at Fire Drill Friday, speaking alongside Mayor Eric Garcetti at a Second Home gathering for the Environment, featuring at the National Teachers Association, the Long Beach City Council, and at A Day of Unreasonable Conversation at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, where John Legend opened for her. She was also a featured artist in an international Puma campaign with Cara Delevingne, recorded in London.
Follow her adventures on Instagram @LaPoetaVioleta
I was searching for a place to focus the girls’ boundless energy - where they weren’t just giving charity but seeing how much good work teaches you, gives you - much more than they can ever give, they receive - so that they give freely without it being “charity.” Diane Luby Lane, the Founder and Executive Director, changed everything for our family with regard to being in LA - our work, our spirit, everything. Our daughters volunteer, interned, take classes. We volunteer and wish we were young enough to take classes. The light GetLit gives is profound because it doesn’t only shine on those remarkable Poets but everyone it touches.
Electric, invigorating, game, Get Lit literally changes lives through words. I've seen countless examples of children whose lives are irrevocably changed for the better because of the curriculum, because of the teachers, because of the poems. Words heal. Get Lit inspires teens all over to be the best version of themselves and to create content that effects change.
Our family's experience of Get Lit makes us want to tell everybody about the amazing work this group of dedicated people do. Not only have their free poetry classes and seminars engaged our teen in writing and helped build self-expression and self-confidence, but we've seen these classes also foster a community of diverse, supportive peers. This organization is one of those rare groups that feels truly representative of the great diversity of Los Angeles, and feels welcoming to all. On top of their dedicated programs, they also organize a poetry slam competition in LA schools, and it's a highlight of the year for so many students. They have made writing and creativity fun and rewarding for LA teens and shown how it can lead to different careers..
I've been with GetLit, Words Ignite for just about 6 months and have seen incredible impact on this community and with their students, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. GetLit transitioned quickly and efficiently to providing their workshops and events virtually. The Grand Slam was done so beautifully and the poets were incredible! Students are provided a safe space to be creative, explore, and build community. The artistry is inspiring!!
I met Diane Luby Lane, the founder of Get Lit, when we were fellows in a leadership development program through the Southern California Leadership Network - a program of the L.A. Chamber of Commerce. I was captivated by the vision of Get Lit and profoundly impressed by Diane's commitment to excellence, her willingness to challenge herself and her openness to change as a nonprofit leader, which led me initially to volunteer and donate and finally to join her Advisory Board, where I have been proud to serve for a number of years. The mission of Get Lit - to increase literacy amongst high school students through an innovative spoken word and performance poetry program produces such extraordinary effects that it really has to be experienced to be fully understood and appreciated. I've had the immense pleasure of watching young students ( struggling with issues of race, gender, immigration status, poverty and homelessness) evolve into young adult leaders in the community and in many cases, launch artistic careers of their own. What I love most about the organization is its capacity to see beyond the current programs it offers and to continually evolve to meet the needs of the young people it serves. The establishment of the annual Classic Slam, the publication of "Get Lit Rising," the feature film production "Summertime" and the release of its first spoken word album "6 Feat," have all been the result of vibrant public/private/philanthropic investment and partnerships, which speaks to a capacity for collaboration which is key to the growth and endurance of a nonprofit. I can promise that anyone who becomes involved in supporting Get Lit will gain far more from the experience than they can ever give.
The shortest answer is get lit changes lives. I have never met a more compassionate and caring person than the founder Diane Luby Lane! She goes out of her way to make sure you feel seen and included! As well as the numerous staff and board! They show up for you, which is wild cause that was something I had never witnessed before. To be honest I didn’t really show up for myself prior to get lit. I am so honored to have this org apart of my memories and heart, it has truly shaped me into the person I am today and I’m so grateful for all the opportunities and conversations I’ve had with them. Thank you so much!!
Get Lit Words Ignite is a poetry education program that has touched the lives of thousands of youth poets that have either gone through their program or witnessed the youth poets' performances. As a Board Member, I've seen Get Lit grow from a grass-roots organization that survived on the passion of the founder, a handful of poets and volunteers. Now, just over a decade old, Get Lit has become a multi-faceted platform that is enabling poetry to be a vehicle for these young students' talents to lead to roles in: leadership, education, arts, activism, entertainment, music, brand building, and fashion. They are paving the way and enlightening the art and education world that poetry can not be contained in some dusty books or a small theater. The Get Lit poets are performing all around the world from their local schools, Lincoln Center, the UN, to the White House.
Through this program, lives are being changed. Students are encouraged and given the tools to find their "voice", build self-confidence, while honing their writing and critical thinking skills. With the support of their community of peers, teachers, and the Get Lit executive team, these kids realize they are not alone in their journey.
Unlike many kids in high-school that are under anxiety or burn-out from competing to get to a goal that they don't understand or believe in. These poets have inspired me with their talent, focus, and commitment to their craft. They are motivated by the sheer joy that comes from their art.
The relationships that I've had with the Founder and Executive Director- Diane, the executive team, and fellow board members are based on the shared tenets: passion for poetry, believing in the power of the arts to better peoples' lives, and commitment for creating opportunity for these kids.
Get Lit has a way of embracing you- making you feel like all of us have something to contribute and that each of our gifts are valuable. I feel lucky and honored to be a part of their community.
I was privileged to attend the 2019 8th Annual Classic Slam (“Manifest”) in Los Angeles, where youth from over 50 LA Unified Schools performed & competed in classic and response poetry. Many of these students are recipients of “Lit Kit” in school curriculum. Amidst the electric creativity over 3 days, there were interactive workshops & panels on mental health. As an observer & writer, I was heavily impacted by the fierce power of self expression that emanated from each & every youth that filled the venue. Snapping, shouting, spewing outbursts of support they came together not to just necessarily win the competition, but to breathe fire into distinguishing themselves from others, wearing their personal beliefs, needs, fears on their sleeve, validating themselves & their concepts. The energy that jettisoned this event was palpable in a way that lifted & reminded me that conversations can change the world. We all have a voice yet the youth of this world have more to say. This is what Get Lit promotes, nurtures and embodies. There is no silence in their manifest, only encouragement for our youth to stand tall & speak up, more than ever, in a time & age when it desperately needs to be heard.
Get Lit is an extraordinary organization! Authentic to the core. I have witnessed young people in their programs find their voice and sense of leadership over and over again. Their programs are delivered with excellence and rigor. I believe deeply in the work of this organization!
Nothing but great things to say about this powerhouse organization. They do what they say and say what they do. Literacy is their goal coupled with the giving young people who feel silenced a voice. Not much could be better. My daughter grew tremendously in her time with Get Lit and their open arms helped her develop into a expressive woman. We continue to involve ourselves in their good deeds when possible. Simply can’t recommend them enough. All the people truly embrace the mission and the young folks who “graduate” remain active in Get Lit into adulthood because it feels like the home they may never have had anywhere else. I believe in this organization with all my heart.
Get Lit is a truly transformative organization. Both the scope and depth of their reach is remarkable. As someone who has been a student who participated in the Get Lit Classic Slam, a forum where I felt empowered to express my words and my voice, and an intern in the education department, I can say that every day I feel truly lucky to be surrounded by inspiring people and inspired poetry.
My daughter received top notch instruction and support. This program is incredible for young people. They make great friends and learn to work hard towards their goal.
Get Lit - Words Ignite is a fantastic organization. It's about poetry and literacy, but it is also about empowerment, inspiration, coming into your own. As someone who has gone through the program, I can confidently say that Get Lit has changed my life. I have met countless mentors and made lifelong friends at Get Lit. Performing with people and writing poetry together brings you so much closer to the people around you. There is nothing else like it. Get Lit has given me life long skills. It has taught me how to believe in myself, how to collaborate with other people, how to write and edit my work, how to get feedback and adjust, and how to trust the process. It has given me work experience by allowing me to freelance and perform poetry at different venues. Additionally, the film program gave me an opportunity to make movies and collaborate with poets. We were flown to San Francisco to present our film at the Student Voices Summit, where we won first place. Get Lit gave us the resources to make stuff and get our art out there. Get Lit is truly a remarkable organization that provides so many opportunities for young people, it's almost impossible not to get involved and grow as a poet, a performer, a filmmaker, an educator, and simply as a person.
I have donated to Get Lit and recently hosted a fundraiser at my home for them. It was an extraordinary event with fantastic musicians, such as Jackson Brown and Barbara Morrison and the incredible Get Lit players. As the widow of a politician I have been involved in many fundraisers, either as a donor or as a recipient and it is always my primary concern that the maximum amount of money goes toward making positive change. I can say unequivocally that I have never felt more satisfied with the bang I got for my buck in contributing to Get Lit. The impact this organization has on the lives and destinies of young people is nothing short of phenomenal. To see teenagers learning great literature and using it as a tool to tell their own stories is a beautiful thing. I wish every high school in America could have a Get Lit program in their curriculum.
I've been working with Get Lit-Words Ignite for over 9 years and it has developed me into the artist I am today. From being in this program I have received the opportunity to be mentored by masters within the field of performance poetry. It has enabled me to travel cross country speaking and facilitating workshops for countless youth. Most of my identity has been inspired by the lessons and skills I have learned in Get Lit. I wouldn't be the artist, much less the person, I am today.
Get Lit is an incredible organization that helps youth find their voice. Building confidence , critical thinking and artistic creation. They do a wonderful job and I could not sing their praises more.
Get Lit - Words Ignite absolutely changed the entire course of my life.
I met Get Lit when I was just 18 years old, when I auditioned to become a Get Lit Player. The Get Lit Players are a traveling troupe of poets who go around schools in the greater Los Angeles School District and beyond to perform poetry, speak about their lives, and get kids excited about literature and literacy. I, thankfully, made the team, and little did I know, it would change everything about my world.
I started getting paid to perform my poetry in front of hundreds of people, was flown out to New York to see the last night of Hamilton with the original cast, and as a result, now work in non-profit development, as well as teaching and performance artist work.
If I had never met Get Lit, I have no idea who I would be as a person, or what I would be doing. Get Lit helped me find my voice, and made me aware that I even had one. And after helping me find it, Get Lit also helped me amplify my voice by offering support spaces and platforms for voices like mine to speak.
Growing up in an Asian American household, I did not get a lot of reinforcement to speak my mind or talk about how I feel. My expression was repressed. Get Lit feels like coming up for air when you've been holding your breath underwater.
I am lucky to say I have experience with Get Lit as both student and teacher. In high school, their curriculum helped me realize that poetry was an art that I loved and cherish to this day. I fell in love with the work that I began to volunteer and tried out for their poetry troupe. Through this group I received professional writing and performance training for free!! Following this I was able to receive professional development and eventually work with the organization as a teaching artist. This organization has helped develop me from high school through college. The staff was loving and the mentors were brilliant. I have nothing but good words about this organization!!
I first got to know Get Lit several years ago when I began volunteering for them. Get Lit is not simply a curriculum that stems the increase of illiteracy in "at risk" youth. It is profoundly effective in motivating students to read more, learn more, write more and build confidence in themselves. Get Lit is a community that embraces all who participate in it. A safe haven where youth can express themselves and be embraced. The program turns out some of the most incredible "spoken word" poets who must be seen and heard to truly understand the scope of this amazing organization. I am profoundly moved by the important work Get Lit does and the results I see in front of me on a daily basis.