Every day, we see students struggle with writing confidence. In iWRITE’s home community of Houston and its online community across the U.S., these students are living in some of the country’s lowest-income neighborhoods. In addition, they’re faced with a standardized education that offers limited opportunities for individual growth. Writing skills are critical for any student who hopes to move beyond their economic limitations to conquer their frustrations and discover success in any subject.
Since 2009, iWRITE has developed curriculums that build student confidence and spark students’ imaginations. With creative writing/illustration workshops and publishing opportunities, students move beyond the standardized classroom, learn to express their ideas, and discover their voice.
Children’s author Melissa Williams Murphy originally founded the organization as “READ3Zero,” using her background in psychology and counseling to promote literacy among Houston’s at-risk youth. The popular question that she continued to receive (can kids be authors too?) during her classroom visits inspired the organization’s publishing contest, I Write Short Stories by Kids for Kids. Her writing and publishing exercises resonated with students and motivated her to re-focus the organization’s mission on high-impact writing activities.
READ3Zero became iWRITE in 2016 and launched the organization’s mascot, “i” The Guy, and has used its after-school workshops, camps, journals, a writing and illustration contest, and mentorship programs to help students develop their own creative writing and art skills and experience the feeling of success that comes with becoming an author and illustrator.