Since 2011, 916 Ink has led the effort to empower children and youth in Sacramento through a unique creative writing program that increases literacy rates, self-confidence, academic engagement, empathy, and communication skills. Participants in our workshops learn to love the written word and are transformed into published authors in the process.
In early 2021, we reached a milestone of 200 books published, serving nearly 4,500 students in the Sacramento region.
2020 brought numerous challenges, as it did for us all, but we successfully transformed our programs for a virtual environment, helping to improve literacy and social-emotional skills for hundreds of youth across the region. Data shows that a 916 Ink workshop increases self-confidence, heals trauma, and teaches empathy, listening, and literacy skills. Our safe environment provides youth a place for expression and teaches them to "take the yes," a motto created to help youth silence their inner critics.
916 Ink's curriculum asks students to reflect upon their own "hero's journey," which is a mode of storytelling meant to explore how one individual can play different roles in life. By encouraging students to write about their own journey, students begin to see the different facets of their identity and can create a story that positions them as the hero of their own lives.
916 Ink wants to create readers by fostering a love of language, oral and written. By its nature, writing is a curious act that involves human connection and empathy. Instilling a curiosity in the power of stories in a young person can lead them to take charge of their life and change their narrative by becoming the heroes in their own stories. We don't just make students better readers and writers. We make them more open and honest communicators. To further expand on our mission, in 2020 we added a reading tutoring pilot program, with Read On! Early results are proving positive, and we have decided to continue and expand this program.