FROM THE DIRECTOR OF THE LITERACY PROJECT:
At Mendez High School, the Geffen Playhouse Literacy Project has shared in a joyous history of accomplishment. To help students sustain their careers in school and beyond, the Project began by addressing their lack of belief in themselves as successful learners and their gaps as writers and speakers. Six years later, as a positive school culture and student learning have flowered at Mendez, the Project still helps those with significant needs advance and also supports students in developing the confidence and skills to join AP classes and apply to 4-year colleges. Our commitment to working with schools as partners and customizing our program to best meet their needs, has guided our first-time replication of the Literacy Project at another educationally underserved high school — David Starr Jordan Education Complex in Watts. Students were guided in teaching artist and literacy coaching sessions to build a nourishing community and open themselves to guidance from talented and caring professionals designed to help them unleash their potential and place their much-needed voices in the world.
— Jennifer Zakkai Geffen Playhouse Director of Education and Community Engagement and Director of the Geffen Playhouse Literacy Project