Written by Good Things Going Around Intern, Andrea Francisco
Wordplay is a Cincinnati nonprofit organization that specializes in helping children express themselves through our rich language. When asking the executive director and co-founder of Wordplay, Libby Hunter, how to describe her non-profit in a few words, she responds, “Wordplay is a non-profit organization located in the northside neighborhood of Cincinnati serving children in kindergarten through twelfth grade, targeting literacy and creative expression. We have free after-school and weekend programs that help children with everything from schoolwork to advanced creative writing projects.”
Not only does Wordplay help children excel in their language arts classes, but assists them in expressing their ideas, understanding their emotions, and trusting other people. Its core values of community, communication, transformation, exploration, creation, and
curiosity demonstrate what an experience at wordplay can truly inspire.
With one-on-one instruction from adult volunteers, each student blessed with the opportunity to work with Wordplay will discover a passion for learning that lasts a lifetime – something that is truly priceless. Some of its programs include after-school tutoring from 2:30-5 pm Monday – Thursday, creative writing workshops, and “Wordplay Saturdays” from 12-4 pm. Similarly to its after-school tutoring sessions, “‘Wordplay Saturdays” also offer homework tutoring in all subjects. However, these Saturday sessions also include creative activities, group projects, and programs specifically designed for each grade level.
Libby Hunter also tells me that if you have children or know a child who would benefit from Wordplay, there are three really interesting and fun upcoming programs available to them. On Thursday October 9th from 6-8 PM, Wordplay is excited to announce that they will be hosting their first open mic night, named “Louder than a bomb”. This city-wide youth poetry slam already has had five schools to RSVP, including Woodward, Roberts, SCPA, Hughes, and Aiken. This is a larger event, as Wordplay hopes to have a total of twelve schools participate and 400 kids in total. Next, Wordplay is hosting one of the activities at “Books by the Banks” at the Duke Energy Center on October 11th from 10 to 4 PM. There will be booths where kids get to write flash fiction (really short fiction stories) on the typewriters provided. How cool! Typing homemade fiction stories on a typewriter is a very unique experience that not many kids these days, including myself, have ever really tried. Lastly, but not least, Wordplay is celebrating its second anniversary on October 18th from 6-8 pm.
Another way to get involved with Wordplay is to volunteer. Wordplay is looking for a wide-range of people to volunteer, not just writers. For tutoring volunteers, a minimum of two tutoring sessions per month lasting around one to two hours are required. In addition to tutoring, there are administrative tasks and behind-the-scenes work that need help. For more information, be sure to check out Wordplay’s website, wordplaycincy.org. You can also e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org and call at 513-541-0930. Wordplay is located on 4041 Hamilton Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45223.
More about the photo: Thanks to grant from the Andrew Jergens Foundation, Wordplay is rolling out a new Writer-in-Residence Program. They have taken the successful writing residency model from universities and colleges, and are bringing it to WordPlay kids. Not only do current students get to work one-on-one with a professional writer, but Wordplay is now inviting NEW students to set appointments to work with its Writer on their own creative projects, school assignments, or join one of our young writers circles.