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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Mighty Writers

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services

Mission: Mighty Writers teaches Philadelphia kids (ages 7 to 17) to think and write with clarity so they can achieve success at school, at work and in life.

Results: We collect the following data: report cards, SAT test results, MyAccess results, annual survey of kids and parents/guardians. A sampling of data analysis from 2014/2015 reveals: • 96% of students who attended the afterschool program at least 3 times/week were proficient in writing for their grade levels, according to in-house data. • 89% of students who attended the afterschool program at least 3 times/week were proficient in writing by the end of the year, according to their school report cards. • 45% of students’ reading comprehension grades went up during their time in the Academy (the other 55% stayed the same). • 23% of parents saw “a great deal of improvement” in their child’s writing ability; 58% of parents saw “steady improvement.” • 88% of parents were confident that the activities in the Academy program improved their child(ren)’s grades in school.

Target demographics: Philadelphia students, ages seven to 17

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2,000

Geographic areas served: Philadelphia, PA

Programs: • An afterschool Mighty Academy, in which elementary and middle school kids complete writing projects and homework from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday. From September to June, 30 Philadelphia students in third through eighth grades come together in each location to complete homework and short- and long-term writing projects. Volunteer teaching assistants and tutors provide small group assistance, often working one-to-one with struggling students. Daily activities include: community-building activities; literacy games; writing instruction in the genres of informative, persuasive, narrative and poetry; and homework help. We will serve at least 120 kids in the Mighty Academy after school program in 2016. • Themed writing workshops for elementary, middle, and high school students. Led by volunteers, workshops inspire creativity and career motivation by covering a wide range of topics and genres that attract kids who are not part of our ongoing programs. Workshops range from one session to eight over as many weeks. Because of the number of workshop opportunities, they comprise the largest number of participants. In 2016, we will present at least 150 workshops, serving at least 1,500 participants. • Mentorships pair kids of all the ages we serve (seven to seventeen) with professional writers in weekly, 90-minute sessions. Mentors and kids work on writing projects, school and career planning, time management, and other issues as they arise. Mentors and mentees select books to read together based on topics relevant to the mentee. We train mentors to report any issues that may need more qualified help, in-house or beyond. In 2016, we will serve at least 85 children and youth in mentorships. • A College Readiness Initiative that includes high school workshops, 24-session SAT prep courses, college admissions essay nights, college tours, and a weekly Teen Scholars program.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Mighy Writers is amazing! I have been to their office locations, special events, fundraisers ... this is a first-class organization with committed leaders, passionate volunteers and highly engaged kids who are learning, sharing, growing, honing their writing skills and advancing their abilities, plus having a lot of fun and support while doing it. The response from the community, donors/supporters, the kids and their families has been overwhelmingly positive and is fully justified. Mighy Writers is changing kids' lives for the better, in so many ways.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Mighty Writers works with children to develop their inner beauty, creativity, and self-confidence. I have spent time at their site, and worked with some of their students. The outcomes that the children who attend their workshops create are truly astounding and awe inspiring.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a teacher at a Philadelphia public high school. I first learned about Mighty Writers when my nephew (a student at a Philly public elementary school) started attending the free after-school workshops. For my family, this was a godsend. We are always looking for low-cost, enriching after-school activities for Sam, and this fit the bill. He enjoyed the workshops, so I was pleased to learn that they also offer programming for high school students. This year, two students at my school have joined the staff of Mighty Post, Mighty Writers' on line student newspaper. Mighty Writers has offered them the additional academic challenge that they have been craving, and it has also helped them to build confidence in their writing skills. Another student, an English Language Learner whose native language is Chinese, has also been involved with Mighty Writers. She shared with me that attending some of the Mighty Writers workshops helped her to improve her English, fall in love with writing, and get ready for college. At Mighty Writers, she said, volunteers were able to work with her one-on-one, a woefully rare situation in traditional high schools. Based on the great experiences my students have had, I am encouraging more of my students to get involved. In Journalism class, students posted comments to a classmate's Mighty Post article, and currently, one student is developing a story that she hopes to submit. I follow Mighty Writers on Twitter and Facebook, knowing that I might turn up valuable opportunities for my students. I have yet to visit their office spaces in the city, but already I think of Mighty Writers as one of the best educational non-profits in the city. They have established direct connections with both teachers and students, and they sustain those connections through a balance of social media, online publication, and face-to-face interactions.