Write Memphis gives girls confidence to excel - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Write Memphis gives girls confidence to excel

(WMC-TV) - Recently, hundreds of middle school students took the TCAP writing exam.

While some students may have struggled through, there were likely some young ladies who excelled thanks to the non-profit group Write Memphis.

Today's Extra Credit goes to the creative writing program that teaches girls to not only do well on the exam, but to write their own stories with confidence.

We caught up with two Write Memphis participants, Florida Kansas Elementary School 5th graders, Shari Saulsberry and Kitonna Gales, at the7th Street Girls, Inc., office the day before their TCAP writing exam.

 Neither 10-year-old seemed worried about the test.

"They really help us a lot," explained Shari.

Write Memphis has collaborated with Girls, Inc., since summer camp last year and continued this school year.

Write Memphis program manager and mentor Melanie Riker recalled her first days working the Girls, Inc., students,"At the beginning they were a little hesitant about what they wrote. They weren't as confident about what they wrote. And now they're just much more confident and they seem to enjoy the writing!"

Write Memphis works with girls and young ladies ages six through their teen years.

After making the girls feel comfortable with writing, mentors then focus in on grammar and punctuation.

Participants also get practice with timed writing tests, much like the TCAP writing exam.

The girls are also encouraged to chare or read aloud from their work which, for many, is their first try at public speaking.

Riker says the program is also about more than just writing and TCAP exams, "We try to empower them to give them a voice in writing!"

Kitonna can attest to that.

"You can improve your writing and you can express your feelings and you get a better understanding of writing," she explains.

And Shari says since taking part in the Write Memphis program, her TCAP writing exam scores have gone from a four to a five, with six being the highest grade possible on the test.

Write Memphis currently has five tutoring sites, as well as a creative writing group in the Frayser Community.

They are also looking for more volunteers or mentors for girls.

For more information go to the group's website.

Send your ideas for Extra Credit to Kym Clark: extracredit@wmctv.com.

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