Many thanks to those of you who donated to this project. We're thrilled to say that we reached our goal and will be able to pay $500 stipends to five our our fabulous interns.


One of the coolest things in the world is to stand in the middle of a classroom surrounded by children with their heads bent, writing furiously, no sound but the scratch of pencils on the page. A very cool thing is to listen to them read their stories aloud. It’s wonderful to see how proud—and often surprised—they are at having written so well. But the coolest thing of all is to put a book in the hands of a young writer and watch her face light up when she opens it to find her own story inside

Every summer, The Indiana Writers Center makes this happen every summer with "Building a Rainbow," a six-week creative writing program that takes a difficult academic skill—writing—and makes it fun, personal, and empowering. Working one-on-one, IWC instructors, college interns, and volunteers guide a diverse group of 130 at-risk young people, aged 6-14 through series of steps in which they remember moments in their own lives, write them down, and shape them into finished pieces of writing. Over the summer, they become better, more confident writers. They also learn that they have stories worth telling and voices that deserve to be heard. At the end of the program, students receive a paperback anthology of all of the stories written that summer—and they can hardly wait to look inside and find their own.

Gifted, committed college interns are crucial to the success of our program. In addition to giving young writers quality attention, they also produce the anthology of student stories and create a short video that is shown to students and their parents at the final celebration. And they learn, too!  

"I’m blown away by the power of children,” a 2013 intern said. “I had no idea they had so much to say with such unique voices.

Most of our interns work several jobs to make ends meet. We'd like to be able to offer them a modest stipend for their significant contributions to our summer program.

Written by Indiana Writers Center — April 01, 2013

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