January 26, 2018
“Even though Grace and I are still best friends today, whenever someone just mentions that time between us, a huge wave of guilt rushes over me. It took me a LONG time to convince myself to write this story,” wrote Petra, a fourth-grade student from the Boston Teachers Union (BTU) School.
On January 18, we celebrated the opening of our third Writers’ Room in a Boston public school, as well as the release of The Incident Itched All the Way Out, a collection of personal narratives on bullying, kindness, and inclusion written by a fourth-grade class at the BTU School.
The collection was published as part of the Inclusion Storytelling Project, a partnership with Cartoon Network in expanding its award-winning “Stop Bullying: Speak Up” campaign, which encourages youth across the country to share their individual stories about kindness and empathy in an effort to stop bullying before it starts. Each of 826 National‘s eight internationally celebrated youth writing organizations participated in the project.
We are so glad that Petra and her classmates (and 826 writers across the country!) gained the courage to tell their stories about bullying. The collection proves that we have much to learn by hearing students’ voices, and we can’t wait to read what else comes out of the BTU Writers’ Room in upcoming years.
Thanks to the Wellington Management Foundation, Brown Rudnick, Northeastern University, Simmons College, Massachusetts Service Alliance, and Commonwealth Corps for their support of this creative space for students—and to Cartoon Network for their support of this publication.
Read more about this project and its impact on students from Emma Sunog, 826 Boston K-8 Writers’ Room Associate (Commonwealth Corps).