The Writers Matter program provides unique opportunities for middle and lower high school students to express themselves through the writing process, learn critical writing skills and develop effective personal relationships with peers to allow for more tolerance and appreciation of others. The process of writing provides an effective outlet for these students at a time in their lives when personal expression and having their voices heard is so important.
This program has partnered with the School District of Philadelphia, local Catholic and private schools and serves over 950 students each year. Teachers from these schools participate in a year-long professional development program at La Salle University for the purpose of coordinating writing assignments, sharing student work, learning new writing skills to be implemented with the students and to help each other with the many challenges and opportunities presented to teachers on a daily basis. Through professional development a unique community of teachers has emerged that celebrates that are working together to provide new opportunities for the students attending school in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Additionally, the Writers Matter program has La Salle University students serving as tutors and mentors in many of the participating schools.
The Writers Matter program conducts yearly research that demonstrates higher achievement in writing, more confident and engaged learners and the ability to make better connections with academic school work through writing. As students begin to more freely express themselves, cliques, stereotypes, and racial boundaries within the classrooms have decreased and students emerge as more confident individuals using their personality, talent and own unique voice to express themselves and let their voice be heard.