This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Today, the Mighty Writers kick off their first MightyFest, a four-day reading and writing festival.
“The reason we’re having the festival is to celebrate Philly kids and to spread the word about the power of writing,” said Tim Whitaker, founder and executive director of the nonprofit Mighty Writers.
Mighty Writers has been offering free writing programs to neighborhood children, from toddlers to teens, for nine years. The organization now has seven locations in the area — six in Philadelphia and one in Camden, N.J.
And now, said Whitaker, it’s time to “spread the word in a bigger way, and attract more kids to all our different programs.”
“We think that writing is a magical power,” he said. “When you think clearly and write with clarity, self-esteem soars, and good things happen.”
The event also will include a carnival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, in front of the Franklin Institute, where 30 booths will offer writing and empowerment workshops.
For Whitaker, it’s all part of making sure that writing remains a relevant skill in education.
“Writing needs to be promoted,” said Whitaker. “It’s kryptonite to illiteracy.”