Everyone has a story to tell. Outside of schools, WITS weaves together art and education in libraries, museums, parks, hospitals, and community centers, bringing the joy of stories to children throughout Houston.
Free Workshops for Children + Families
In partnership with the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance and Houston Public Libraries, WITS offers ongoing workshops at accessible locations that are free and open to the public.
- Discovery Green Workshops— WITS offers free writing workshops for children on Saturday mornings 10:30-11:30am at Discovery Green park inside the Houston Public Library Express Library (workshops have currently been paused due to the pandemic). For an hour WITS writers explore imaginative writing exercises. WITS provides all necessary materials. No registration is required, and walk-ins are welcome. Students grades 2-8 are welcome.
- Family Workshops — WITS offers periodic writing workshops for children and their families throughout the year, including writing tours at the Menil Collection and family workshops at community centers.
- Teen Workshops — WITS offers free performance poetry workshops for teens and opportunities to perform and compete locally. Please visit our WITS Performance page for details.
WITS + Health
Personal stories can transform experiences with cancer and serious diseases. As writer Nicole Brogdon notes, “Writing can draw windows out of a hospital room, and by extension, out of other difficult situations…helping us all to reconnect with human emotions. Never have I felt that my teaching was more needed.”
- M.D. Anderson Cancer Center— In 1992, WITS and the University of Texas MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital came together to begin an instrumental program for teaching creative writing to children being treated for cancer. WITS has sent professional writers into the hospital to help students and their families engage in writing, storytelling, and artistic expression.
- Texas Children’s Hospital— The Texas Children’s Hospital project began in 1998 as part of the Arts in Medicine Program with support from the Periwinkle Foundation, serving children in the Cancer Center and in the Bone Marrow Transplant unit. In the summer of 2003, WITS also began work with children in the Renal Department, providing individualized writing to children during their dialysis treatment.
Quality after-school programs not only keep students safe, they help improve academic performance and raise self-confidence. WITS community workshops utilize active learning and interdisciplinary approaches to make writing enjoyable and relevant for every student. WITS community programs nurture the growth of the imagination and awaken students to the adventures of language. While building writing and language proficiency, students develop important social skills and remain engaged in education. WITS has partnered with many arts and community-based organizations to create original, site-specific programs.
- Art League Houston
- Aurora Picture Show
- Discovery Green Conservancy
- Harris County Public Library
- Hope Stone, Inc.
- Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
- Houston Grand Opera
- Houston Public Library
- M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
- The Menil Collection
- School Literacy & Culture Project, Rice University
- Society for the Performing Arts
- UH – Southeast Houston Arts Initiative
- Texas Children’s Hospital
- University of Houston-Downtown