Education News

More Creative Writers to Coach Teachers, Students

Writers in the Schools to expand project to more middle, high schools.


For the last few years, creative writers have been coaching teachers at Bellaire High School to teach writing a little differently.

Think of them as personal trainers for English teachers.

Robin Reagler, executive director with the group Writers in the Schools, or WITS, says that coaching has translated to the students.

They’re finding their voices as writers — and doing better on the state’s reading and writing exams.

“We have also seen students increase their scores from the negative realm to the positive realm over the course of a single school year.”

Now the group is expanding that collaborative project thanks to a $450,000 grant from the Houston Endowment.

They’ll double the number of schools from eight to 16 and work with both middle and high schools.

It prompted me to ask WITS’ associate director Long Chu a special question. I wanted to test his creative writing skills.

“Write a short little poem about the next step.”

“Us poets are not necessarily on the spot kind of creatures!”

So we settled on this poem by a fifth grader. It’s called “Possibility.”

“I am a blank canvas but I could be more.

I am a can of soup or a pile of old clothes.

But right now I am waiting for someone to come and paint me.

I see all the possibility I could be.”

Chu says he sees a lot of possibility with the chance to work with more teachers and in turn more students.


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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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