LEI expands programs for teens
Fall in the Heights is in full swing as schools and students are buzzing. Buses streak the streets with yellow, and parades of kids in backpacks have become a regular sight. Lake Erie Ink (LEI) is bursting with creativity and excitement for all that fall has to offer, which includes new creative writing program offerings for teens. This fall, LEI is expanding its after-school programming for those in grades 6-12. For youths eager to get their hands on a fresh notebook, daydream jumbles of words into stories and observe their world with open eyes, LEI has an array of programs available.
In addition to its longstanding "Evening Ink" drop-in creative writing workshop on Wednesday nights, youth writers have more exciting opportunities for creative expression. Among these, LEI’s "Stage Write: Comedy Club" takes place on Monday nights and allows youths to explore the funny side of theater. Creative arts teacher Nicole Rossa, who earned her living as a stand-up comedian and emcee before joining the LEI team, leads this fun-filled program that teaches students how to write a joke and deliver it through improv games, monologues, stand-up and sketch comedy.
LEI has also introduced a new program on Mondays, the "628 Writers’ Studio," which offers an afternoon of creative writing for those in grades 6-8, who bring their homework and join LEI for writing and snacks in a stimulating environment.
Finally, LEI is offering "Wiley Writers Club," a new after-school creative writing program at Heights Middle School on Tuesdays.
A portion of these expanded opportunities is made possible through the generosity of the city of Cleveland Heights and the Cleveland Heights Community Development Block Grant program.
Jill Levin, LEI’s program director, said, “LEI is responding to a need that adolescents have for creative discovery and self-expression by providing not only an academic outlet, but a social environment as well.”
LEI is dedicated to expanding opportunities for adolescents and teens to engage in self-expression, which, LEI believes, can be a transformative experience. Creative writing is not only for kids and teens who already love writing, but also for youths who have something to say and too often feel that no one is listening.
For more information about these or other LEI programs, visit www.lakeerieink.org or call 216-320-4757.
Sarah Kloos is a staff member at Lake Erie Ink: a writing space for youth.