MightyFest expands with kids and teens writing carnival, Michael Barbaro keynote


On September 26-29, Mighty Writers will hold its second-annual youth literacy festival MightyFest as the Philadelphia student writing non-profit celebrates its tenth birthday this year.
Over 2,000 Philadelphia students participated in last year’s MightyFest, and this year the festival is expanding to reach even more. New offerings for 2019 include a “Teen Zone” at their expanded free carnival which will use writing to address the topical issues their teenage students talk about (gun violence, climate change, etc) and a keynote speech on the state of writing and journalism by Michael Barbaro, host of the New York Times’ hugely popular news podcast “The Daily.”
“Philly kids are wondrous storytellers,” says Tim Whitaker, Mighty Writers’ executive director. “MightyFest is our way of celebrating their writing talent and letting the country know that the best student writers are right here in Philadelphia.”
MightyFest 2019 highlights include:
  • A free student writing carnival on Saturday in Aviation Park (located in front of the Franklin Institute), featuring over 50 literacy-themed games and attractions for all kids including a special new “Teen Zone” addressing topical issues. Free.
  • A keynote speech at Trinity Center for Urban Life by Michael Barbaro, host of the New York Times podcast “The Daily,” the most listened-to podcast in America, on the state of writing and journalism. Ticketed: $75.
  • An expanded “Mighty Writers Day” at over a dozen branch libraries on Thursday exploring comic books and empowerment. Free.
  • A gospel breakfast on Sunday morning at Girard College hosted by activist, author and WURD Morning Host Solomon Jones. Ticketed: $60.
Keep an eye on MightyWriters.org for continuing updates.
See photos from last year’s MightyFest here:
About Mighty Writers:
Mighty Writers was founded in 2009 with the mission to teach kids to think clearly and write with clarity. The organization offers free programs for students from elementary through high school at centers in four diverse Philadelphia neighborhoods, including one bilingual location for Spanish-speaking students. Mighty Writers offers daily afterschool academies, long- and short-term writing classes nights and weekends, teen scholar programs, mentorships, College Prep courses and college essay writing classes. Over 400 of the city’s best creative minds (writers, teachers, journalists, etc.) teach 150 writing classes a year to 3,500 kids at Mighty Writers annually. In the past year, they’ve been recognized by Mayor Jim Kenney for their work in literary arts and received a City Council Citation.
Founder and executive director Tim Whitaker began his career teaching fifth and sixth grade in Philadelphia before becoming a writer and editor. He is the author of “Crash: The Life and Times of Dick Allen.” He was the editor of Philadelphia Weekly (1994-2008), and previously the editor of PhillySport and Pittsburgh magazines. Whitaker was a head writer at NBC Radio and has written for The New York Times, Washington Post and Philadelphia Inquirer.

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