Young female writers from all over Washington County will converge in Greenville this May for Girls Write the World’s annual Writers’ Retreat. This year’s retreat theme, “If I Dare to be Powerful” will feature poetry writing classes and empowerment workshops designed to foster creativity and confidence in young women.
Girls Write the World (GWTW), an all-volunteer organization, is dedicated to providing free, accessible writing and youth development programs to young women in grades 9th – 12th within the public school districts throughout Washington County. For the last five years, Sara Hutchinson, Director of Girls Write the World, and her colleagues, Kenrica Sands, Madison Walsh and Sloane Winters, all former Teach for America (TFA) corps members, have returned to Washington County to produce a weekend writer’s retreat each spring as well as a week long day camp each summer.
“Having the opportunity to teach in Greenville, MS had a profound impact on my life. I was so inspired by my students’ strength, creativity, and potential. Although my TFA commitment ended in 2014, I knew I needed to find a way to stay connected to my students and their families.” says Hutchinson. “We built Girls Write the World to be that connection. Through our programs, we strive to provide a safe, nurturing environment where we can continue to create, learn, and grow together.”
Since its inception in 2015, Girls Write the World has served over 80 young women, created an estimated 500 pieces of original poetry. The GWTW curriculum centers around works of poetry and focuses on themes of social change, creativity and identity. Its mission is to provide a safe space for female creativity, to build leadership skills, self-esteem, and community and to celebrate, affirm, and project young, female voices. Through a unique combination of creative writing classes, social justice workshops, health education and college counseling, GWTW empowers participants to be brave, confident advocates for themselves and their community.
Hutchinson credits their local partnerships as a crucial factor for sustaining their long-running program. “Since the very beginning, we’ve had local incredible local support that has ensured our success. The congregation of the Hebrew Union Temple, has provided us in-kind event space for the last several years. We are also so grateful for our partnership with the Community Foundation of Washington County. Having a local fund here in the Delta and having access to the Community Foundation’s expertise has been a huge benefit to our organization and has allowed us to focus on expanding and enhancing our scope of programming. We are inspired by CFWC’s tireless commitment to build a thriving community of all and we feel so lucky to have Executive Director, Terri Lane, as our advocate and advisor.”
Registration is officially open for the Spring Writers’ Retreat, scheduled for May 4, 2019, at the Hebrew Union Temple. This free program is available to young women in grades 9th – 12th within the public school districts throughout Washington County. Additional registration information can be found at the organization’s website at www.girlswritetheworld.org/springretreat.
“Donors can contribute to our fund at the Community Foundation of Washington County and play a significant role in the development of young women with strength, passion, self-confidence and a renewed sense of creativity and love for the written word,” comments Hutchinson. “Through the generosity of our donors, young women in the Mississippi Delta will have the opportunity to learn leadership skills, enhance their reading and writing abilities, showcase their inner talents and celebrate their voices throughout their community.”
To support the mission of Girls Write the World, please visit the Foundation’s secure website at www.cfwashco.org to give online. You may also send your donation to the Community Foundation of Washington County at the following address:
Community Foundation of Washington County P.O. Box 5910 Greenville, MS 38704. Be sure to put the Girls Write the World Fund in the memo line.