Teens in the juvenile justice system need opportunities to express themselves as much as -- and probably more than -- other teens.
Their struggles with family, friends, drugs, alcohol as they mature and try to figure out who they want to be can make for moving fiction, poetry, and essays. Even if they've never written before.
Here's a chance to connect teens in your jurisdiction with online writing activities that make it easy to be creative, explore painful topics, and share their work with others: check out the Pongo Teen Writing website.
Teens, counselors, and teachers alike will enjoy exploring the site, which features over 34 online writing activities for teens who've led difficult lives, teaching resources, and poems to share in the classroom. There's even low-cost poetry collections you can buy to support Pongo, such as Love is Like All the Colors of the Doors in Juvie, written by teens in the King County juvenile detention center. Check out this post for some poems written by teens in the juvenile justice system.
All this is the product of Seattle-based Pongo Publishing Teen Writing Project, a volunteer, nonprofit program for teens who are in jail, on the streets, or in other ways leading difficult lives.
Let us know what you think by leaving a comment ... or (with permission) a teen's poem!
(Hat tip to Cheryl Reed at the Reclaiming Futures National Program Office.)
- "11 Things to Do with Teens in the Justice System" is a post with more creative PYD ideas.
Updated: December 10 2009