Editorial: Kennett Square's newest co-conductors
By Richard Gaw
It is a town of many hands willing to work, all overlapping from group to group and from leader to leader and across party lines and demographics and gender and nationalities, to the point where it is a fast train of many parts, accelerating at speeds that can only come when ingenuity meets need.
Each day, the scent of fumes coming off that train can be detected in every corner and crevice of Kennett Square: the many youth education programs through the Joseph and Sarah Community Development Corporation; the After-the-Bell and the Walk In kNowledge programs through the Kennett Consolidated School District; the Garage Community and Youth Center; the Kennett Education Foundation; the Family Literacy Program; the Tick-Tock Early Learning Center; and a full roster of other organizations and private volunteer citizens, that stretch out endlessly.
When Mighty Writers, a Philadelphia-based center that currently provides writing academies for younsters ages seven to 17 at seven locations in Philadelphia and Camden, approached Kennett Square leaders with the idea of opening a branch in Kennett Square, little did they know that they would be welcomed with open arms by a town that shares the same fuel, the same engine, the same drive and the same utilization of spirit.
Fueled by the vision of its founder and executive director Tim Whitaker, Mighty Writers is a consortium of committed staff and more than 400 volunteers, who in addition to its daily and free writing academies, hosts writing workshops and Mighty Toddler classes, teen scholar programs and college essay writing nights. Their mission is both global and individual – to combat a growing literacy crisis one student at a time.
Whitaker and two members of his staff recently met with a group representing several Kennett Square-based educational centers, and shared the broad brush strokes of their goal to bring Mighty Writers to the Latino community in the area. There are still several steps to the process before the first students sits down; finding a centralized location in the borough or nearby is just one of them.
When measured against the backdrop of what will soon be a kaleidoscope of partnerships that Mighty Writers will form in the Kennett Square community, finding a home will merely be an administrative hurdle. In many ways, just by choosing to bring its name and its mission to Kennett Square, the stakes are already in the ground, and a known and proven entity is about to make its own educational imprint beside so many other imprints of its kind.
Kennett Square has become a town where thousands of young people have been nourished through an outstanding school district and the cooperative outreach of ancillary educational opportunities, and Mighty Writers is about to become the newest co-conductors on a sleek, high-powered train that is already in motion, taking its passengers – the youth of our community – to places they never thought were possible.