THE STORY OF WORDPLAY
Executive Director Libby Hunter speaks at TEDx Cincinnati about WordPlay's founding and its unique approach to addressing childhood poverty and education inequality.
Nestled in an old storefront of the historic and diverse Cincinnati neighborhood of Northside, you'll find claw-footed bathtubs filled with pillows and surrounded by canopies and marvelous wooden animals, inviting young readers and writers into a world of imagination and storytelling.
Outside, the childhood poverty rate in Cincinnati is at 46% (fourth in the country) and at an abhorrent 60% for African-American children.
But at WordPlay, children and teens across Greater Cincinnati grow into lifelong learners so they can break the generational cycles of poverty. How? The WordPlay community nurtures young participants from all backgrounds through personal discovery and academic skill-building programs with reading. writing and storytelling at their core.
Studies show that each student who does not graduate from high school averages $260,000 in lost wages and economic productivity over their lifetime.
WORDPLAY IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
Creating spaces for young people to fulfill their potential by discovering, honoring and sharing their voices.
More than 85% of curriculum after the third grade requires reading and writing proficiency that many children and teens have yet to develop. Providing that supplemental learning is our role. In collaboration with experts from Cincinnati Public Schools, the University of Cincinnati and other partner organizations, WordPlay has developed a research-based approach to transforming students' experiences of education.
THE WORDPLAY WAY
Four elements to our approach
Students discover, honor and share their personal narratives.
Students actively connect with others in an inclusive community.
Students understand the depths and horizons of their creativity.
Students define, realize and pursue their own futures.
WHY DO OUR PROGRAMS WORK?
WordPlay is inclusive. While we give priority program enrollment to families meeting free lunch criteria, our high-quality staff, guest teaching artists, and offerings are designed to inspire readers and writers from many backgrounds to connect in a safe space. Over 7,500 children and teens have attended one or more of WordPlay's programs since our 2012 founding.
YOU CAN HELP US INCREASE THAT NUMBER.
WordPlay is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Our work is only possible because of generous supporters like you.