A CREATOR'S SANCTUARY
In the fourth grade, my story about a talking racehorse was selected from a pile of student entries. This granted me access to the compelling world of Mr. Pola, volunteer writing teacher. He invited a few lucky students to marvel at the elegance of his favorite works and even regaled us with his own beautiful writing. In this atmosphere, a writer was born in me. Though a variety of writing jobs grace my past, from college newspaper reporter to PR writer, I've found my writing home in teaching.
Since July 2010, I've mentored close to 400 young writers. Collectively, they’ve produced powerful, imaginative poetry and prose, delighting themselves with their word power. My classroom is a long way from the spare bungalow Mr. Pola turned into a world of possibility, but in KidWritersLA I’ve carved out a sanctuary similar to the one created by my first muse.
- Risa Okin
is a California credentialed teacher since 1996. She holds a Single Subject Credential in English Language Arts, a CLAD (cross-cultural language academic development)
credential and is a graduate of UCLA's Writing Project, Literature Project & When Teachers Write courses. She is currently earning her certificate in Educational Therapy.
Sucar was the supportive mascot of all KidWriters. She derived great pleasure from listening to student work, often achieving a zen-like state that resembled sleeping.
Sucar had been a source of inspiration for dozens of KidWriters and the subject of many stories, but sadly passed away a few years back. Yofie is the newest KWLA mascot, but she seems to be very intimidated by the talented young writers she encounters, and generally steers clear. Her adorable face is on the home page.
KidWritersLA seeks to inspire a comfortable connection to the written word by engaging
students in dynamic writing
activities. Participants are encouraged to tap their imaginations and knowledge bases to produce written works in a variety of genres.
KidWritersLA students range
in age from 8 to 16. Some
of our classes are advertised and others are coordinated
by interested parents.
Please send inquiries to