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Write to Discover, Prepare to Lead: Amplifying Student Voices Beyond the Classroom

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Thursday, December 3, 12:00–1:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Anna Griffin  
Students’ stories will change the world. Inspire students to imagine and advocate for a better tomorrow with 826 National, the largest youth writing network in the country. Experience our evidence-based approach to teaching writing and apply 826 Digital resources to engage and motivate students to write a brighter future.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Professional developers, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Creating a free account on is highly recommended.
Topic: Creativity & curation tools
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Language arts
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Dedicate planning time to collaborate with colleagues to create authentic learning experiences that leverage technology.
  • Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, evaluation, curation and adoption of new digital resources and tools for learning.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Students’ stories will change the world. They have powerful, distinct, and essential perspectives that need to be heard. However, three out of four 12th graders in the U.S. are not writing at grade level proficiency, and this statistic increases to nine out of ten for students of color. In this session, participants will learn how to ignite a love of writing in students to develop confident, creative communicators, paving the way for future achievement and innovation undefined by circumstance.

Participants in this session will gain tangible tools to develop students’ communication skills using lessons and resources available on, a free platform for educators presented by 826 National, the largest youth writing network in the country serving nearly 80,000 students annually.

Join this dynamic session to experience and apply best practices for building student voice and agency. Take away techniques and tools to encourage creative expression and collaboration, publish student writing, and amplify student voice across multiple platforms and intended audiences. Discover how writing can extend the breadth of a student’s learning beyond the walls of the classroom.

Participants will leave this session empowered to: 1) Discuss the power of students amplifying their stories with an authentic, broad audience 2) Identify and apply best practices to develop effective communicators and increase student voice and choice 3) Implement tools from 826 Digital to enhance opportunities for creative expression and student agency in an existing lesson plan or unit.


Hellos and Welcome! (5 Minutes)
Inspiring a New Generation of Writers (10 Minutes)
Writing, Creativity, and Advocacy: What Research—and Students—have to Say (10 Minutes)
Spark: Write Your Way In (10 Minutes; writing, peer-to-peer)
Anatomy of an 826 Digital Lesson (5 Minutes)
826 Digital Site Tour (10 Minutes; device-based activity)
Discussion: Writing to Cultivate Student Agency and Leadership (15 Minutes)
Application: Leverage an 826 Digital Lesson to Ignite Student Voice and Build Agency (15 Minutes; peer-to-peer, device-based activity)
Conclusion: A-ha’s and Takeaways, Survey (10 Minutes; peer-to-peer and device-based activities)

Supporting research

1) Reference: McKenney, Yekaterina (2018). Article: Making Student Writing Matter. Educational Leadership, Volume 75, Number 7. Retrieved from:
2) Reference: Moore, K. (2016). Study: Poor Writing Skills Are Costing Businesses Billions. Inc. Retrieved from:
3) The Nation’s Report Card: Writing 2011 (2012)
Reference: National Center for Education Statistics. (September 2012). The Nation’s Report Card: Writing 2011 (NCES 2012–470). Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.
4) The Wallace Foundation Report "Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs From Urban Youth and Other Experts": (see page 88)

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Anna Griffin, 826 National

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