We are 916 Ink and we turn everyday kids into published authors. Our project is about inspiring kids, ages 6-18, to write stories, essays, and poems for publication in beautiful books.
As a new non-profit organization, we seek to excite young people with language, particularly written language; to instill in children a sense of joy, wisdom, whimsy, and wonder with words; to celebrate syntax; and to support teachers, schools, and libraries in their efforts to share the benefits of reading and writing with all Sacramento area youth.
Why do we do this?
In a time when the creative arts have plummeted in our public schools, 916 Ink helps fill the gap between storytelling, writing, and literacy by creating publishing opportunities for youth. We make sure our youth are proficient in, and empowered through, the written word. As a way to spread this idea, we provide creative writing workshops in libraries, schools, and community organizations.
The literacy rates in Sacramento are dismal. Did you know that eighty-five percent of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate? The Department of Justice states, "The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure." In Sacramento, there is not a single school district where youth are reading 100 percent at grade level. In fact, the average rate of reading at grade level is awful—37%! This means that our young people are not doing well with their reading and writing skills.
Our whimsical and inspiring creative approach to learning helps to move students entire grade levels in their reading and writing skills.
How do we do it?
We believe kids deserve to see their words printed with the same care given to “real” authors. In our programs, youth write anywhere from two to ten months to polish their writing with a trained adult volunteer team called the “Inspirators.” Youth submit their revised work for publication and are christened “Inkers” (please don’t confuse them with “Stinkers”)!
After Inkers polish their writing, we compile and edit their work and hand it over to a professional book designer. In six weeks, each Inker walks away with two copies of their book, and is offered the chance to read their work aloud at a community reading.
Does this Model Work?
It works. This Project-based learning model fuels our belief that youth can collaborate, make creative decisions, and work towards completing a goal by engaging in the writing, editorial, and revising process. They walk away with a profound passion for writing. We know that youth excel when given opportunities to be stakeholders in their own education. Youth can be given deadlines, editorial duties, and become decision makers in the process of creating the book. Once they hold that book in their hands, they will know what it means to become part of a team and create something tangible that can be read forever.
Why should you invest in 916 Ink?
In 2011, a group of dedicated Sacramentans raised money to train forty stakeholders in San Francisco at 826 Valencia. This organization, founded by author Dave Eggers, is an award winning literacy non-profit that is changing the face of education in America. Our stakeholders were inspired and believed that Sacramento could provide the same type of life-changing programming for its youth. Voila! A non-profit was built, and from scratch!
In 2012, 916 Ink received $5000 from The Sacramento Bee and Mather Aviation to fund three different creative writing programs in Oak Park and south Sacramento. Three beautiful books and three mini-zines were produced using these funds. Over 75 youth became published authors. Imagine what we could do for literacy in Sacramento with ten times that amount!
What will your donation be used for?
All our programs are free to all area youth, teachers and schools, libraries, non-profits, and community organizations. EVERY dollar of your money will go toward providing free creative writing workshops for Sacramento’s neediest youth.
We are requesting $50,000 for the following:
- Offer twelve creative writing workshops: this means we will publish TWELVE books and turn at least 400 Sacramento kids into published authors!
- Keep kids safe: to fingerprint and complete a background check for new volunteers, and purchase liability insurance.
- For all the awesome supplies needed to make 916 Ink work for kids! Curriculum, pens, journals, dry erase markers, markers, healthy snacks, writing prompts, and paper.
- For professional outside evaluation to access the impact of the program on students and community.
- For staff and overhead costs: 916 Ink was founded as an all volunteer organization, and it remains mostly so today. As the organization has grown and expanded into a full-time non-profit, it has become necessary to pay for an executive director and a volunteer/program coordinator. Funds will also be used to provide small stipends to our college interns.
- To build a new website that offers literacy resources to parents, youth, and other Sacramento organizations. For publicity to help raise awareness of our organization and to plant a “seed” for other donors/funders to make 916 Ink a sustainable organization in Sacramento for years to come.
How else can you help?
There are lots of ways to give to 916 Ink. If you can’t financially contribute, considering doing one of the following:
- Spread the word about our Indiegogo campaign. If just 5,000 people gave $10, we would reach our goal! Twitter, Facebook, or write a letter to your mom. Anything! Just spread the word.
- Visit our website and sign up for our newsletter at www.916ink.org
- Volunteer. Offer to give your time at one of our site-based workshops for youth. Train to become an Inspirator, Eagle eye, Wordslinger, or Key-smasher! Aren’t those great titles? Learn more about volunteer roles at www.916ink.org
If you have any questions about our dream, or the impact this wonderful project can have for our libraries, youth, and community, please don’t hesitate to email us 916Ink@gmail.com
Team on This Campaign:
Not for Profit Organization