Applause for the Meta-Four 2013 Team!

Posted June 6, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

m4 team after grand 513Houston, we have a team!

After competing at Space City Slam in a series of six poetry competitions, six young poets were chosen to represent WITS’s performance poetry team, Meta- Four, and the city of Houston at the international youth poetry slam festival and competition, Brave New Voices, in Chicago, August 7-11.

The Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee announced the winners, who rode in the grand prize winning car “Big Red” in the Houston Art Car Parade. Congratulations to Outspoken Bean, the Meta-Four coach, and to students Sarah Portugal, Terell Cloud, Jennifer Layer, Jordan Simpson, Tiffany Ike, and Daniel Ortiz! See you in Chicago!

Thanks to the support of United Airlines, who generously donated round trip tickets, Meta- Four will be flying all the way to Chicago free of charge! Also a special thanks to the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance and Travelers Insurance for their continuous support of Meta-Four and the Space City Grand Slam.

Immigrant Children Tap Into Creativity

Posted July 7, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

Studies have shown that creativity is higher on average for first and second-generation immigrants and for bilinguals than for others.  Experts think that these groups share the ability to adapt and to be flexible.

WITS has designed numerous projects to tap into the creativity of first and second-generation immigrants and bilinguals, including the very popular Song of Houston Project with the Houston Grand Opera.  During 2010-11 school year, WITS worked with children of immigrants at Kaleidoscope Middle School where the youth made films based on Sandra Cisneros stories.  At Collins Elementary School, Catholic Charities sponsored a WITS project with children of immigrants that took place after school and was designed to improve literacy and language skills through creative writing.   As part of that project, Travelers Insurance did a book drive, and each participating child received a dozen books.

See the film made by Kaleidoscope 7th graders here.

Read about our project with Catholic Charities in the article, “The Joy of Self Expression”, published by the Midtown Paper here.

If you work with first or second-generation immigrants in Houston and you would like to nurture creativity, give WITS a call at 713-523-3877.

by Marcia Chamberlain, Writers in the Schools