Write through this with us.

by Chapter 510 & the Dept. of Make Believe


Write through this with us. 

In Oakland, we are figuring out how we’re going to write our way through the upside-down world of the here and now. Schools and playgrounds remain closed, but our families and teachers are resourceful and resilient. Traditional learning has been suspended for weeks. Chapter 510 is working diligently to make room to write as a form of healing and coping with the unknown. We’re marching into April with a mandate from students like Elijah who are bravely writing on their own, but not alone. 

"Everything I miss...
We taped fear on a cup 
We knocked it down and stepped on it 
I felt better and I wasn’t afraid anymore" 
(Elijah, Hoover 3rd Grader, from MOTHERLAND) 

We are humbled by our families who are working from home and juggling this new life at the same time. We’ve been strategizing with our partners at Hoover Elementary, Westlake Middle, and MetWest High School to best determine how we can support their students and families during COVID-19. The inequities are heartbreaking. The learning gaps are widening.  

How can you help during this crisis? Join me in making a gift to support critical writing workshops and Oakland teaching artists who have lost wages. Write a poem every day in April and bring your family into your writing practice.

Participate in all of our April writing opportunities listed on ourshelter-in-place resource page.

This is the very best moment to get more deeply involved. Right now someone is blasting Prince on my street. Do what you can to be a part of your block, your neighborhood, and your city. Stay safe. 

Thank you for your generosity.

Janet Heller
Executive Director


Join Chapter 510 this school year as we Make Room to Write for Oakland Youth!

Opening in September 2019, Chapter 510's very first Writers' Room at Westlake Middle School will give all 120 8th graders year-round writing support, enrichment writing clubs, and publishing opportunities. And, we'll be working in classrooms with educators to make sure that 8th graders leave Westlake ready to take on the academic rigors of high school. 

But that's not all we've got up our sleeves this year! As always, Chapter 510 will be working with students across Oakland public schools to build their writing skills and confidence, including: 

  • at MetWest High School with seniors to help them write their college essays and prepare for the challenge of writing for college
  • at MetWest's new Ericka Huggins campus with 9th graders on a collection of personal narrative stories about their heritage and identity 
  • with 3rd graders at Hoover Elementary to write and publish our annual elementary book project about migration and immigration
  • with elementary students at our annual children's book and chapter book workshops, each of which result in a collection of single-author publications
  • at Acorn Elementary, in all-school Epic Poetry day and the publication of the longest poem written by kids in the history of time 
  • in partnership with Nomadic Press, publishing the work of Islamic high school students exploring identity through poetry at our annual Beauty in Difference workshop
  • offering storytelling field trips for elementary and middle school students, building empathy and vocabulary in one short morning
  • with children, youth, and their families every First Friday at our writing center, where we celebrate writing, reading, and the spoken word
  • and later in the year, with 9th graders at MetWest's Ericka Huggins campus to co-design and create a Writers' Room worthy of their brilliance and unique identities!

During the 2019/2020 school year, Chapter 510 will make room for more than 1,200 young scholars to write, publish 23 books, and build 2 writing rooms! We appreciate our donors and supporters who make all this possible. 

Will you join us with your gift right now?

Make A Donation