Art Auction to Benifit WITS Kids

Posted December 3, 2015 & filed under Notebook.


Five artists have donated their artwork to WITS, and it’s up for bid on ebay for one more week. Consider a bid that will provide WITS for young students in the Houston area. Every child deserves the opportunity to become an avid reader and a powerful writer.

Giving Thanks Can Give YOU a Lift

Posted November 23, 2015 & filed under Notebook.



This week in Edutopia, Owen Griffith explains how writing about gratitude can produce a host of different positive outcomes. Griffith recommends the regular practice of listing what we’re thankful for. He says, “Gratitude seems to work like a muscle, and the physical action of writing a gratitude list helps develop ‘gratitude muscles.'”

The benefits from this kind of writing are impressive. Griffith suggests that they include:

Keeping a gratitude journal on a daily basis helps students achieve the following:

  • Higher grades
  • Higher goals
  • More satisfaction with relationships, life, and school
  • Less materialism
  • More willingness to give back.

For adults, keeping a gratitude journal enables people to:

  • Be more optimistic
  • Experience more social satisfaction
  • Exercise more often
  • Have less envy and depression
  • Have fewer physical complaints
  • Sleep better.

Perhaps this could become a Thanksgiving family activity? If you give it a try, let us know how it goes.


D.E.E.P. to Perform at We Are Girls Conference

Posted November 13, 2015 & filed under Event, Notebook.

deepWe are excited to announce that WITS Teacher and Special Programs Manager, Deborah “D.E.E.P.” Mouton, will perform at the We Are Girls Conference, produced by The Girls Empowerment Network.

This event is a  multi-city extravaganza designed especially for girls in grades 3-8. This year’s theme is “Tell Your Story,” which fits right into the WITS mission.

We know that Deborah will serve as a powerful role model to these girls who are exploring creative self-expression and empowerment. Go, Deborah!

Free Orbit Slam at Discovery Green on Friday, the 13th

Posted November 10, 2015 & filed under Notebook.

metafour-413Free writing and performance workshops take place every second Friday of the month at Discovery Green (1500 McKinney St.) from 6:30-8pm.
Students ages 13-19 are welcome. No registration is required! No experience is necessary! Join us this Friday, the 13th for a fun and inspirational evening.
Date: November 13, 2015
Time: 6:30-8pm
Location: 1500 McKinney St.



Meta-Four Houston Performs at The Three Doctors

Posted November 4, 2015 & filed under Event, Notebook.



Meta-Four Houston will perform at this inspirational event hosted by The Houston Public Library on Friday! This is the write-up from HPL:

The Houston Public Library presents:

The Three Doctors

Hosted by Melanie Lawson with KTRK Channel 13

The Houston Public Library is pleased to present The Three Doctors to over 2,000 youth of the City of Houston.

This is an awesome opportunity for our youth to hear a compelling story about three young boys – much like themselves – who survived the tough inner city streets of Newark, New Jersey and became successful men. It is a story that will inspire and encourage our youth to win at life – no matter the odds.

We would be honored if you would support this important event through the gift of your time by attending The Three Doctors’ Presentation.

Who are The Three Doctors?


Dr. Sampson Davis, Dr. Rameck Hunt, and Dr. George Jenkins, fondly known as The Three Doctors, are extraordinary role models. These three doctors began with a childhood promise to persevere and become successful, prominent men, despite facing barriers growing up in the tough inner-city of Newark, New Jersey. They used positive peer pressure to overcome the many challenges they faced, thus allowing them the opportunity to realize their dream of each becoming a successful physician. Today, The Three Doctors give their time and resources through their Foundation, which stands on the premise that “Our Children Can Not Aspire to Be What They Can Not See.” They passionately share their remarkable story of perseverance to inspire and motivate young people to achieve education and career success through the formation of positive peer and mentor relationships.


Wake Up

Posted November 2, 2015 & filed under Notebook, Poem.

american-teen-948079_1920Open those big black eyes

and plop those feet on the floor

I know it’s dark outside

I know you’re tired

But it’s Monday and

here you are again

So wake up and live

like there won’t be a Tuesday.

Today is the big day.

By Salome, 6th Grade

Paid Fellowships for Young Writers

Posted October 27, 2015 & filed under Notebook.

future corps fellows 1015

Are you a Meta-Four Houston – Youth Speaks – Brave New Voices alum looking to grow professionally and artistically? We have an exciting opportunity just for you! Apply today for a #FutureCorps Fellowship. Fellows will serve as full time salaried staff supporting their host organization in advancing its mission and capacity to create safe spaces for writings and performance opportunities that elevate youth voices. Additionally, fellows will receive training and mentor ship in leadership, marketing and communications, programming, fundraising and finance and operations. All applications are due November 1st, 2015.

Learn more & apply today at

Sign Up for NaNoWriMo 2016

Posted October 26, 2015 & filed under Notebook.

logoDo your kids love to write? Do they like to make big goals and get lots of support meeting them? Then, sign up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)!

Here is a message from NaNoWriMo about what to expect. Go to their National Novel Writing Month website to sign up and find out more! Writing begins November 1st.

What is NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month happens every November! It’s a fun, seat-of-your-pants writing event where the challenge is to complete an entire novel in just 30 days. For one month, you get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just create!

That means participants begin writing November 1 and must finish by midnight, November 30. The word-count goal for our adult program is 50,000 words, but the Young Writers Program (YWP) allows 17-and-under participants to set reasonable, yet challenging, individual word-count goals.

In 2014, over 300,000 adults participated through our main site, and nearly 90,000 young writers and educators participated through the YWP.

Go to YaNoWriMo website to ask questions and sign up today!

Here Comes the Rain

Posted October 23, 2015 & filed under Notebook, Poem.

statue-5998_1920Dun dun dun

here it comes

splitter splat

fast and fat

here it comes

drippity drat

dun dun dun

By Sofia, 2nd Grade




Meta-Four at TedX Houston 2015

Posted October 20, 2015 & filed under Notebook.

Meta-Four Houston was well represented at TedX Houston 2015. Our coach and coordinator Outspoken Bean emceed the final session of the day-long event, and Meta-Four student Lily Bowman performed her poem “Monsters,” inspired by the classic children’s book by Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are.

Chop, Chop

Posted October 19, 2015 & filed under Notebook, Poem.

small-child-945784_1920Chop, chop says my dad
when he wants me to hurry up
Snap, snap says my sister
when she is being annoying
Blah, blah says my brother
who thinks he knows it all
Kiss, kiss says my mom
when she puts me to bed
By Loretta, 3rd Grade

Meet the Man Behind Timmy Failure

Posted October 14, 2015 & filed under Notebook.

cool brains reading sunday

The first Cool Brains reading of the season will be this Sunday at 3pm. Come hear Stephan Pastis, the author behind the hilarious Timmy Failure. This FREE event will be held at Johnston Middle School. For more information about this event, click here.

Night WrITerS Back at Sparrow – Wednesday

Posted October 12, 2015 & filed under Notebook.

night writers


Night WrITerS at Sparrow Bar + Cookshop
Date: October 14, 2015
Time: 6-8pm

Join Writers in the Schools for Night WrITerS on Wednesday, October 14th from 6-8 pm, for a creative happy hour of words and friends. With an interactive workshop led by WITS Writer OutSpoken Bean, Night WrITerS allows you to meet people and have fun writing. All are welcome.  A special thanks to Chef Monica Pope and Sparrow Bar + Cookshop for generously providing appetizers!

Cash bar. No charge, donations always appreciated.

DEEP to Represent Houston

Posted October 5, 2015 & filed under Notebook, WITS People.

6135074_fb_1443213487.0842_fundsWITS Project Coordinator Deborah “D.E.E.P.” Mouton will compete in a national poetry slam in Washington DC this weekend.  Over 70 of the nation’s best poets will compete for the title of 2015 Individual World Poetry Champion, and DEEP will represent Houston. You can help her collect the rest of her expenses by clicking here. Or cheer for her via social media at @LiveLifeDEEP.


Posted October 2, 2015 & filed under Notebook.

summerfield-336672_1280Mama always says I’m her sunshine

I am cheerful and bright

I am all about the light

My soul lets out a shine

I make the world feel fine

Mama always says I’m her sunshine

By Katelyn, 3rd Grade


National Book Festival 2015

Posted September 17, 2015 & filed under Notebook.

Meta-Four Houston was invited to participate in the National Book Festival 2015 in Washington DC over the Labor Day weekend. Team members Rukmini and Lily attended the Library of Congress Gala, met Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States, and performed to an audience of 1,000. Here are some photos from their trip.

Meta-Four to Perform at Buffalo Bayou Park’s Grand Opening

Posted September 16, 2015 & filed under Event, free Houston event, Notebook.

Join us on unnamedOctober 3rd for Buffalo Bayou Park’s Grand Opening!

The WITS slam team Meta-Four will perform several times between 1 and 4 pm, and there will be many other ways for visitors to explore and enjoy interesting sites within the 160-acre park. They will be int the LISTEN section of the festivities.

Buffalo Bayou Park stretches from Shepherd Drive to Sabine Street.

Don”t miss this wonderful outdoors event that includes walking tours, lectures, children’s crafts, recreational opportunities, delicious food, live music, and POETRY!

The day will culminate with an illuminated parade and fireworks show.

This event is FREE and open to the public. See you there!



100 Thousand Poets for Change at University of Houston-Downtown

Posted September 4, 2015 & filed under Event, free Houston event, Notebook.


100 Thousand Poets for Change fights social injustice by using the arts to create social change. These artists sponsor readings in cities across the world, and this year’s day of international solidarity is September 26, 2015.

Please join 100 Thousand Poets for Change and put Houston on the map! Poet Billie Duncan is organizing city-wide readings, performances, and exhibits, and under John Locke’s guidance, University of Houston-Downtown will host Houston’s 3rd annual kick-off event. Details are as follows:

What:             100 Thousand Poets For Change (Houston’s Kick-Off Event)

Why:               To Creatively Speak Against Social Injustice Through the Arts

When:             Wednesday, September 23, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Where:            UHD Coffee House

Show up for an exciting evening where voices from across the city speak out against social injustice. See you there!