Everyone has a story. Being able to tell it—to write it—lends a fluency to the rest of life. As least it has for me. I first discovered the pleasure and power of reading and writing when I was six or seven years old, and last week, I was selected to join the roster of Writers in the Schools (WITS) to help other kids do the same.
WITS is a charitable nonprofit literacy organization that employs poets, fiction writers, essayists, journalists and playwrights to teach year-long programs in over 350 classrooms. In addition to getting students excited about reading and writing, writers help them develop their creative and analytical thinking skills. With a focus on at-risk, inner city students, WITS also offers workshops in art museums, hospitals, community centers, private schools, and juvenile detention centers.
While sitting in the reception area of the WITS office, waiting for my interview, I flipped through some of the poetry anthologies. They were all beautiful, but one in particular struck me. It was titled, What I Want To Be.
WHAT I WANT TO BE
I want to be a raindrop in your rain.
I want to be a small bean on your plate.
I want to be a small number in your notebook.
I want to be a tiny mouse in your hands.
I want to be a button of your shirt.
I want to be the black of your hair.
I want to be a slice of your Christmas pudding.
I want to be a little dog that you take care of.
I want to be a light to shine on you.
I want to be a tiny paper in your hands
that says, “I love you so much.”
It was written in 2008 by Miguel Santos. He was in first grade.
What a privilege to be able to help others discover, tell and share their stories via the written word. I only hope I’m equal to the task.