Chương trình học tiếng Anh của VOA: Special English Education Report - Writing Program. Xin hãy vào http://www.youtube.com/user/VietSpecialEnglish để xem các bài kế tiếp.
This is the VOA Special English Education Report.
826 is the name of a nonprofit organization that works to help students become better writers by thinking creatively. 826 is also the address of the first center where this literary arts program began in two thousand two.
Author Dave Eggars and educator Ninive Calegari started the program in California at 826 Valencia Street in San Francisco. It now serves thirty thousand students through writing and tutoring centers in eight American cities.
At the front of 826 Valencia is a pirate supply store. Think of the kind of place where Captain Jack Sparrow might shop. Leigh Lehman is the executive director. She says the idea of entering through a pirate store is meant to get students not to think of the place as a school or tutoring center. During the day, teachers bring classes on field trips and volunteers help with writing projects. After school, students come for help with creative writing and their schoolwork. The center is for public school students between six and eighteen years old.
Eight twenty-six Valencia is located in a mostly Latino neighborhood. Ms. Lehman says many of the children are from poor immigrant families. Each 826 center has a different theme -- from the pirate store in San Francisco to a store for "spies" in Chicago. The national chief executive, Gerald Richards, says budget cuts in public schools mean less money for arts education. And as that goes away, he says, so does the ability for students to use their imagination: "I think there is much more of a focus on science, technology, engineering and math. There's a lot of a focus on testing and a lot of the teaching that's going on in schools is focusing on the test and passing the test rather than thinking about how do we get kids to think." Leigh Lehman says 826 builds confidence. Students can publish and sell their work at places like the pirate supply store and on the Internet. In twenty-ten, the programs across the country published nine hundred forty-four volumes of student writing. Ms. Lehman says students are proud when their writing gets published. One of the students in San Francisco, Sofia Marquez, says "I get to use my imagination -- that's why I like writing." You can watch another video about the program in San Francisco at voaspecialenglish.com. You can also find texts, MP3s and activities to read, listen and learn English.