Second annual MightyFest celebrates youth literacy

2 minute read
MightyFest elevates the talented, compassionate voices of Philly youth writers. (Photo courtesy of Mighty Writers)
MightyFest elevates the talented, compassionate voices of Philly youth writers. (Photo courtesy of Mighty Writers)

Mighty Writers' second annual youth literacy festival, MightyFest, kicks off this weekend, celebrating the Philadelphia student writing non-profit's tenth birthday. MightyFest is a chance for kids and young adults who are passionate about writing and the cultural and social ties they have to their neighborhood to explore, express, and exercise their voices.

Last year’s MightyFest was a huge success, and this year looks to be bigger. Over 2,000 Philadelphia students participated in 2018, and there’s a plethora of new offerings and activities this time around.

“The big one for the kids is the literacy carnival, at an aviator park which is across from the Franklin Institute,” said Tim Whitaker, Mighty Writers’ executive director. With over 50 activities, there are things to do for aspiring writers of all ages—toddlers, teens, and everything in between.

The carnival is free and will feature a dozen authors, including recent New York Times bestseller Mary Beth Keane.

The power of writing

“We see MightyFest as a celebration of the power of writing but also as a way to honor Philly kids—and Camden kids, too,” Whitaker added. “The kids we work with, they’re great storytellers.”

Michael Barbaro, host of the NYT podcast The Daily will host a keynote speech at Trinity Center for Urban Life. The weekend also marks the launch of the Mighty Writers Anti-Violence Initiative, which has teens discussing and writing about gun violence affecting them and their communities.

Whitaker was enthusiastic about how Mighty Writers’ invests and values its young writers. “We spend a lot of time with the kids. We’re tuned into . . . what’s on their minds, from serious topics like violence going on in their neighborhoods, but also about superheroes and comics and girl power and things that energize the kids.”

What, When, Where:

The second annual MightyFest takes place on Thursday, September 26 through September 29. For a list of programs, events, and activities, visit Mighty Writers online.

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