Summer 2015, the WordPlay Way!

WordPlay Cincinnati’s summer programs are back for another exciting season of learning and fun. Each of WordPlay's 3 core summer programs, Summer Scholars, WordUP and STEAM Scholars, provide students with an innovative blend of academic and creative problem-solving skills and social-emotional learning to further develop their unique identities.

Now in its fourth summer of programming, WordPlay continues to collaborate with a number of community organizations to provide engaging, multi-disciplinary opportunities to area children. New this summer, WordPlay is proud to partner with the Price Hill youth orchestra non-profit MyCincinnati to provide creative and expository writing instruction for 10-12 MYCincinnati student musicians twice a week. Workshops will be led by WordPlay composition instructors Dr. Theresa Kulbaga, an Associate Professor of English at Miami University – Hamilton, and Dr. Kate Spencer, who has taught writing and literature courses at various universities spanning the last 4 decades.

WordPlay’s Summer Scholars workshop is a six-week program that promotes a love of learning while encouraging creative exploration and community-building. The program is open to students entering grades 1-8 in the 2015/16 school year and students can choose to attend Mondays and Wednesdays OR Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. The program reinforces students’ academic skills and the development of interpersonal skills through hands-on learning and community-building activities. The program also offers weekly “walking field-trips,” led by WordPlay staff-members, to local destinations like the WordPlay community garden hosted by Urban Artifact, the public library, and the NorthSide farmer’s market. Expanding on a partnership started in early 2015, Visionaries and Voices will be bringng their Teaching Artist Program to Summer Scholars one day a week for multi-disciplinary art-making experiences, building on themes of diversity and inclusion. The Summer Scholars program will be led by Kirsten Zook, WordPlay’s Program Director.

WordPlay’s Saturday program will continue to run through the summer to provide students with fun, educational and creative activities for students in grades 1-8. Prior enrollment for WordPlay’s Saturday program is NOT required although WordPlay asks that parents come in to fill out a registration form when they drop off their children. WordPlay Saturdays will take place every Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. and will run from June 14 – July 19.

WordPlay is again offering their signature WordUP creative writing and spoken word workshop for area high school students. The workshop will be led by WordPlay Teaching Artist Desirae Hosley. Also known as the Silent Poet, Desirae is the WordPlay spoken word coach for the city-wide youth poetry slam, Louder Than a Bomb, and will have guest performance poets and writers visit to work with the teens each week. WordUP meets every Wednesday from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. and will run from June 11 – July 16.

WordPlay is excited to team up with Northside-based performing arts non-profit, Dramakinetics for two "Play in a Day" workshops this summer, open to students ages 12+. Desirae Hosely will also lead the writing portion of both 2-part sessions, helping the students craft autobiographical page-to-stage performances.

The year-long STEAM Scholars program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) continues into June and July for Jr. and Sr. High School students. Meeting on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month, the year-end project for our budding engineers and designers is a bike-powered generator that will power an LED light show - just in time for the 4th of July pardade. Huge thanks to partners Against the Grain Scholars and MoBo Bicycle Co-op for this fantastic collaboration.

Space in WordPlay’s summer programs is limited, and parents are asked to register their children by calling the WordPlay office directly at 513-260-8129 or by emailing The deadline for summer program enrollment is June 8.

For other news about upcoming WordPlay events, activities, and programs, visit us at or follow us on Facebook at Wordplay Cincy!

By Jessica Gresham, UC student and WordPlay summer 2015 intern

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