by Katherine Newman
91 days ago
WordPlay is a
space in Northside where children can come for free tutoring services and
creative encouragement. This nonprofit organization is dedicated to breaking
the cycle of poverty by improving the quality of life, education and
opportunities for kids in Cincinnati.
In just more
than three years, WordPlay has gone from seeing two to four students a day to
somewhere around 160 kids a week. The growing organization provides academic
after-school programs, creative writing workshops and summer programs for
grades K-12. “WordPlay Scholars” is their academic after-school program
reserved for children who meet the low-income criteria. “WordUP” is a creative
program offered to students at Aiken High School and Hughes High School. “Happy
Hour” is a creative workshop and is open to all, low-income or not. It is a
time where children can collaborate in a creative format and learn from each
Volunteer: “Volunteers are just as valuable as
money,” says Libby Hunter, co-founder of WordPlay. It is a goal for the
organization to match each child with a tutor for a special one-on-one
experience. This means that at any given time, WordPlay needs a volunteer team
of at least 150 people. To begin volunteering as a tutor, first contact WordPlay
through e-mail and schedule a training session (you’ll also need to pass a
background check). During the school year, tutors must be 18 or older. Tutors
should be able to make a commitment of two sessions per month, each two hours
long. Literacy skill work, creative reading and homework time happens 3-5 p.m.
Monday- Thursday — this is when tutors are needed the most.
school subjects is not a requirement for volunteers, but a genuine interest to
be part of WordPlay is. During training, a lot of time is spent talking about
the culture and the environment that is being created at WordPlay. “Having that
one-on-one time with a kid makes a difference, even if you have to ask your
neighbor for help with a homework problem,” Hunter says.
scenes, volunteers make up an advisory board to review and evaluate every
program at WordPlay. Anyone with expertise in developing and assessing creative
curriculum is encouraged to reach out and offer their skills.
Makers” is a working concept at the moment. The goal is to cultivate a group of
young creatives willing to tap into their existing social networks and organize
outreach events. “It will raise a little money but really focus on outreach and
awareness of the issues WordPlay is addressing,” Hunter says. This is a unique
opportunity to get on the ground level of WordPlay’s outreach program.
Donate: “Close the Gap” is a fundraising
initiative created to benefit summer learning programs specifically. “Children
from low-income households tend to not have equal access to summer enrichment
programs,” Hunter says. “That is where they lose a lot of ground in terms of
reading proficiency and other academic skills.” WordPlay provides free summer
enrichment programs to help kids keep their skills up and stay on track.
never have enough school supplies, specifically copy paper, lined paper and
composition notebooks. Donating gently used or new books is a cheap and easy
way to help WordPlay succeed. Free books are offered for kids all year long.
Check the attic for old typewriters to donate. A WordPlay volunteer works to
recondition them for resale. The money from typewriter sales and repairs goes
directly back into their programs.
WordPlay is partnering with Spun Bicycles to host Ride for Reading, during
which a parade of 60-70 cyclists will fill their bags and baskets full of
donated books and ride them to Parker Woods Montessori. Volunteers will be
waiting with tables set up to distribute the books to students. This means they
will need a lot of book donations ahead of time. The organization is collecting
books from now until the ride. “The kids are out in the parking lot and you
would think it’s a Rock concert the way that they scream and cheer when the
bike parade pulls in,” Hunter says. This is the fourth year WordPlay has done
this, and Parker Woods is the biggest school so far, with 500 students. In the
past, they have been able to give 10 books to each student.
For more information about programs and how to
getting involved with WORDPLAY e-mail email@example.com or visit wordplaycincy.org.
by Nick Swartsell
Posted In: News
at 10:13 AM | Permalink
I-75 north ramp from uptown to take five more years; Ohio Board of Ed ends 5 of 8 rule; Hillary goes unnoticed in Ohio Chipotle
Hello all. What’s up? Let’s dive right into the news today.If you live uptown and frequently need to hop on I-75 north, I have some bad news for you. It’s going to be another, oh, five years before the already years-old ODOT project to revamp I-75 makes it easier to access the highway from uptown. Let’s ruminate on that length of time for a minute. It’s an entire high school career plus a year of college. Or the amount of time it takes the average person to put 65,000 miles on a car. Or for some folks, multiple long-term relationships. The hang-up comes from a proposed connector bridge that will allow for easier access from I-74 to the area around Cincinnati State College. That construction is in the same area as the planned new northbound ramp, meaning the latter will have to be put off until 2020. That leaves uptown residents wanting to head north with the option of two complicated workarounds that probably add at least a few minutes to commute times. Happy driving y’all. • In more positive news, it sounds like the city’s July 14 parade for the MLB All-Star Game is going to be something else. Usually, these kinds of things are limited to a few pickup trucks full of ball players on the way to field from their hotels, but Cincinnati Reds COO Phil Castellini says this year will be different. Floats, music and other festivities inspired by our annual opening day parade will fill the mile-long parade route, which goes from the Westin Hotel downtown past Fountain Square to Great American Ballpark. The All-Star Game is a big deal for any city to land — estimated economic impact for the city is somewhere in the $60 million range.• Over-the-Rhine business course MORTAR will graduate its first class of entrepreneurs today. Locals William Thomas, Derrick Braziel and Allen Woods founded the group last year with a focus on increasing socio-economic diversity in the city’s startup culture. When you picture a startup entrepreneur, you might immediately think of a young white middle class male, which would be understandable since that demographic makes up a large percentage of entrepreneurs, especially in hot new markets like tech. MORTAR’s mission is to go beyond that, founders say, and to extend the opportunity to start a business to anyone in the city with a good idea. Tonight at Elementz, on the corner of Race and Central Parkway, the first class will take their ideas public during a series of presentations lasting from 6-9 pm. First year participants include Black Owned Outerwear founder Cam Means and soap maker Evie Cotton. • I knew y'all were smart. Cincinnati is among the most literate cities in the country according to a study by Central Connecticut State University President Dr. Jack Miller. Miller measured literacy in America’s 77 biggest cities by studying bookstores, libraries, newspaper circulation, education level and Internet usage to come up with his ranking. Cincinnati ranked 12th, just above Raleigh, N.C. and just below Portland, Ore. We are far and away the best Ohio city on the list — runner up Columbus ranked just 21st. Minneapolis took the top spot this year after a four-year run in the top spot for Washington, D.C., which finished second this time around.• The Ohio Board of Education voted yesterday to end the state’s stipulation that school districts have at least five of eight specialty positions in each of their schools. Those positions included librarians, music teachers and physical education teachers. The rule change has been hotly debated among educators and officials. Opponents say it will mean that students in many low-income schools will no longer be guaranteed arts, music and other important humanities education. Boosters of the rule change say it allows local school districts more autonomy with how they spend their budgets. • Is Gov. John Kasich’s budget proposal dead? Looks like its prospects are grim, especially when it comes to the tax boosts the governor suggested to make up for his proposed $5.7 billion in income tax cuts. The GOPers in the Ohio General Assembly love the cuts, but hate the offsets, which include a sales tax hike. State lawmakers are expected to tweak Kasich’s budget to cut about $1 billion in income taxes while forgoing the sales tax hikes and some other big measures in the budget. Kasich’s plan has taken fire from both the left and the right. Progressives point out that shifting the tax burden from income toward sales taxes puts a higher proportional burden on the state’s low-income workers and that cuts to taxes on businesses and the tax bills of the state’s top earners is a regressive move that favors the wealthy. Conservatives, on the other hand, say the sales tax hike would encumber businesses and slow the economy. Both the state House and Senate will have to vote to approve a final budget agreement. • Big news here: While Hillary Clinton was driving around in her Scooby Doo campaign van yesterday, she passed through Ohio and stopped for some Chipotle. Surprisingly, this news story says, no one in the Maumee, Ohio, Chipotle recognized her, probably because they were too focused on their double barbacoa double cheese double sour cream burritos. Dude, when I’m eating a burrito, the wailing ghost of James Brown could come in spitting fire and singing "Poppa’s Got a Brand New Bag" and I probably wouldn’t take much note, but then the wailing ghost of James Brown isn’t running for president in 2016 (unfortunately).• Finally, new revelations have surfaced in the shooting death of Walter Scott, North Charleston, South Carolina man, by police officer Michael Slager April 5. North Charleston police have released audio recordings taken immediately after the incident in which Slager tells his wife he shot Scott while the man was running from him and then later laughs about the adrenaline rush to a supervisor. Scott was black, Slager white. The incident is the latest racially charged police shooting to capture the nation’s attention in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., last summer.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Libby Hunter was used to seeing interactions between
different social, economic and age groups. But after witnessing a
particularly upsetting altercation where local youths began throwing
rocks at a disabled client who was moving into a renovated property,
Hunter took action and flipped the script.