Mighty Writers is a rowhome turned-writing wonderland for Christian Precise and Kishwer Vikaas Barrica

Editors Note: This summer, Mighty Writers is opening a second site at 39th and Lancaster in West Philadelphia to reach even more children like Christan. To learn more or to donate, please click here.

Christian Precise
Favorite spot: Mighty Writers
Neighborhood: Graduate Hospital
Address: 1501 Christian Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146

I am: a cat-crazy, aspiring author whose hobbies include drawing manga and practicing martial arts.
Years in Philly: 13
Current Home: Graduate Hospital

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My Love Note:

Dear Mighty Writers,

Three years ago, when I started fifth grade, my mom came across Mighty Writers while walking around our neighborhood. She went inside and met the Executive Director Tim Whitaker and Program Director Rachel Loeper. They told her all about the Mighty Writers program. She signed me up on the spot, knowing that I, her oldest child, had always enjoyed writing.

Before coming to Mighty Writers, I didn’t really know the kids around the neighborhood. I was not allowed to play outside. But once I started coming, I was able to meet new people in what I’ve come to consider a sanctuary for rising authors. Now my little sister and I come to Mighty Writers Monday through Thursday. I quickly gained a reputation as a “crazy cat lady” for the comic book character I created, “Super Awesome Ninja Kitty” and the stories I wrote featuring cats.

Mighty Writers is a quaint building located at 15th and Christian Streets—a rowhouse turned writing wonderland. It hosts students of all ages. Shouts and snippets of writing plots ring in the air. Paper, pens, pencils, folders and books decorate the tabletops. A mural splashed with rainbow colors etches the hallway. Ink and lead tint fingertips. Pencils scratch paper. There’s popcorn galore. Students run back and forth. You can hear exclamations of excitement everywhere.

This place is my second home. I come in and am greeted by other students who enjoy my humorous stories about felines. It’s amusing, being respected by nine and 10-year olds for my storywriting.

Since coming to Mighty Writers, my writing capabilities have expanded very much. People often say, “You’d make a great author.”

You, Mighty Writers, are a fabulous place with fabulous students and fabulous writing.

Your fabulous neighborhood cat lady,
Christian

Kishwer Vikaas Barrica
Favorite spot: Mighty Writers
Neighborhood: Graduate Hospital
Address: 1501 Christian Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146

I am: a Temple law student, Mighty Writers board member and mentee to Christian.
Years in Philly: 19
Current Home: Chinatown

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My Love Note:

Dear Mighty Writers,

In January 2012, I walked up your steps on my first day as a volunteer mentor and was introduced to Christian Precise, then a bespectacled 7th grader at Masterman Middle School with a wide smile and an even wider backpack. I was nervous— it had been a while since I had worked with children. Four years to be exact. What if she gave me a hard time? What if we didn’t bond? What if I bored her? We shook hands, sat down and I nervously took out a few poems from Langston Hughes.

“Today we’re going to learn how to write poetry,” I declared in what I hoped was a confident voice.

“Langston Hughes? I know Langston Hughes. I memorized one of his poems,” said Christian proudly. She began reciting a Hughes poem before showing me a notebook filled with sketches, short stories and poems. That was when I realized that I wasn’t there to teach Christian, she was there to teach me.

Mighty Writers, in the last year, Christian and I have spent hours in your colorful rooms reading, writing and simply getting to know one another. For an hour or so every week, you give us a space where we can lose ourselves in the wonder of words.

I enter your doors mentally exhausted – my mind abuzz with fears of budgets, deadlines and other stressors. Writing is the last thing on my mind – the lowest priority on my to-do list. But as soon as I see Christian and all the other enthusiastic young writers, my worries disappear. Thanks to you, I have found a dedicated and prolific writing partner who keeps me motivated week after week.Thanks to you, I have found a new friend.

Mighty Writers, your mission aims to teach children “to think and write with clarity.” Well, it’s working. Recently, I have been gratified to see Christian lean on writing as an outlet to deal with her own stressors, which include dealing with the recent death of a classmate. And I watch in awe as Christian’s propensity for the written word continues to grow. Just last week, Christian was accepted at Masterman High School, one of the city’s best schools. Thank you for creating and nurturing such a mighty writer. And thank you for connecting me to her.

Yours,
Kishwer

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Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Graduate Hospital 3 Comments

3 Responses to Mighty Writers is a rowhome turned-writing wonderland for Christian Precise and Kishwer Vikaas Barrica

  1. Amanda

    This is awesome. Mighty Writers runs a tight ship and seems like they really get results!

    Amanda

     
    • Chynell Precise

      It’s a fantastic program. Without hesitation she was signed up.

       
  2. Chynell Precise

    I have watched my child develop and grow into a blossomed rose! Mighty Writers has been a wonderful guided path for her success at such a young age.

     

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