Canteen magazine teaches writing to Harlem youth:
For five years, the authors and editors behind Canteen magazine have taught writing to underserved Harlem 7th-graders. Each year culminates in the publication of canTeens—a beautifully designed print publication, distributed throughout the US and Canada, that presents the students' best work.
Our students are highly motivated by the fact that their work will appear in print—they work harder and pay closer attention than they would otherwise.
Sadly, after a great year of writing and learning, we lack the funding to produce our sixth issue of canTeens. Please help us to not disappoint our young authors!
Class details—what makes canTeens special:
Because of Canteen magazine's status in the literary world, we are able to recruit numerous acclaimed authors to teach classes (Porochista Khakpour, Jessie Klein, Rich Benjamin, Gina Gionfriddo, Lorraine Adams, and Garth Hallberg, to name just a few). Not only are these authors outstanding teachers, but our students pay much closer attention to teachers who have achieved writing success, and teachers they can find on Google (seriously—they constantly Google our teachers).
Through a variety of creative assignments, we aim to make writing fun. Students who enjoy the written word are far more likely to want to improve their writing.
Why is writing important for 7th-graders?
1) Being able to write well immediately impacts our students' chances of obtaining higher education and a wide variety of jobs.
2) Many of our students come from very difficult home and school environments. Having a safe creative outlet for their frustrations is far healthier than repressing their emotions.
canTeens issue 6 details:
This issue will include the best work from our students in the current academic year, September 2011 through June 2012.
This issue will include the best work from our students in the current academic year (September 2011 through the end of June 2012). To create a more vibrant publication, we include several photography classes each year (conducted by lauded Canteen magazine photographers like Manjari Sharma and JJ Sulin), and pair the students' writing with their photography.
Our students are so very eager to see their work in print!
Where does the money go?
It costs us $6,215 to design, print, and ship 1,200 copies of canTeens. It's a beautifully designed journal, with high end paper and production values—we want to inspire our students! We make roughly $1,200 each issue through sales in bookstores via our distributor, Disticor (canTeens is priced at $6, and Disticor takes 45% of every sale). The remaining copies are distributed to students, teachers, and parents.
All of Canteen's staff and teachers are unpaid volunteers.
What happens if we surpass our funding goal?
Money raised in excess of $5,000 will go toward teaching supplies and costs for our next academic year. If we raise a delightfully excessive amount, we will use the funds to double the number of classes we run in the 2012-2013 academic year.
(Video by Lee Bob Black; music by Explosions in the Sky; updated stats since this video was created: 127 students, 134 workshops, 29 volunteer teachers—unlisted/new teachers are Jessie Klein, Jessie Taylor, and Evan McCune.)
- (31 days)