Big Class offers a variety of free, innovative programs that provide under-resourced students, aged 6-18, with opportunities to explore their creativity and improve their writing skills. We also aim to help teachers get their classes excited about writing. Our services are structured with the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.
All of our programs are challenging and enjoyable, and ultimately strengthen each student’s power to express ideas effectively, creatively, confidently, and in his or her individual voice.
- Big Class-In-Residence programs place a dedicated staff member in a partner school to cultivate year-round writing and publishing happenings, spearheading school newspapers, book-making clubs, grade-level collaborations, and more.
- In-School Projects are short-term writing and publishing collaborations with public schools and teachers around New Orleans. Projects are supported by a dedicated group of volunteer tutors, artists, copy editors, and designers who engage with students over several weeks, working towards a final project that is shared with the community in a public reading and celebration.
- The Pizza Poetry Project celebrates National Poetry Month and the power of youth voices through the publication of poems by young writers on pizza boxes, in potholes, and in other unusual and public ways around New Orleans. Poems are collected throughout the year through school and community- based workshops and open submission. This year, we're working with several collaborators to make the project a part of the brand new New Orleans Youth Poetry Festival.
- Workshops are geared to specific age groups; participants are offered the opportunity to approach writing of all styles and genres in novel and exciting ways, through stories and poems, comics, photographs, paintings, and short films.
- The Writers’ Room, at Sylvanie Williams College Prep Elementary in Central City, is a dedicated room for writers in grades 1-7 to improve their communicative and expressive abilities through curriculum-aligned writing workshops led by volunteers that culminate in published work.
- Youth Advisory Council work as interns in our office to develop projects that promote youth voice in New Orleans. Along the way, they take It's LIT (our mobile youth writing center and sno-ball stand) around the city, are mentored by professional writers and artists, and engage in a writing-based multi-disciplinary collaborative project.