Writers In The Schools (WITS)

Alki Elementary is proud to continue our partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures to bring the Writers in the Schools program to our students in grades 1-5. Our amazing Alki writers will be working throughout the year with our WITS instructor, Jeanine Walker.

Last year, Alki Elementary PTA approved funding for 1st grade to participate in the Writers in the school program for the 2018-2019 school year.

WITS video

Alki 5th Grade Student Lars Kowalczyk received an honorable mention in the WITS writing contest for his poem, “The Rain,” and he was mentioned from stage last week for the Zadie Smith event at Benaroya Hall, in front of a sold-out crowd of 2,500! I am so proud of him! Lars was up against many other students, some his own age and others in middle and high school, so this is huge recognition.
His poem is now on the SAL blog here: https://lectures.org/2019/02/27/the-2018-2019-elaine-wetterauer-writing-contest-winners/
Wonderful news for a great student! I’ve always seen Lars as a poet and remember clearly how, in 3rd grade when he missed part of poetry for his reading help, he came back in and said to me, with a big bright smile, “I love poetry.” Then he wrote his heart out.

-Jeanine Walker, WITS Writer & Alki WITS instructor

How WITS Works

Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools program places professional local writers in public elementary, middle, and high school classrooms to spark interest and develop skills in reading and writing. Since its founding in 1994, the program has served K-12 public school students and teachers in the Puget Sound region. In the 2015-2016 school year, the program worked with over 5,800 K-12 students and 141 teachers in 25 public schools across four school districts: Highline, Port Townsend, Seattle, and Shoreline, as well as at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Many other students and teachers benefited through the program’s spotlight author visits, public readings, complimentary tickets to Seattle Arts & Lectures’ events, and writing contests. By encouraging students to write about what they know best—themselves—WITS helps students find their own, authentic voices.

Alki WITS writer: meet Jeanine Walker!

Jeanine Walker is a poet who holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston. A 2018 GAP Award recipient, Jeanine has poems published in Chattahoochee ReviewPrairie SchoonerThird Coast, and other journals. In addition to teaching with Writers in the Schools, Jeanine works as a writing coach for adults and leads a drop-in monthly writing circle at the West Seattle Branch of The Seattle Public Library through Seattle Writes. Jeanine is the co-producer and host of Mixed Bag, a variety show with a literary bent, held quarterly at Hugo House. Jeanine also plays trumpet, writes, and sings for Seattle Country band The Drop Shadows.