Writing Our Future: American Creed and a New Youth Publishing Opportunity

February 12, 2018
Educator Innovator Blog
By Educator Innovator

In 2016, the National Writing Project (NWP) in partnership with KQED and a range of Educator Innovator partners launched Letters to the Next President 2.0, a youth publishing opportunity designed to support youth in sharing what mattered to them most in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. Nearly 20,000 youth participated across the country.

Now in 2018, NWP is getting ready to launch a new youth publishing opportunity connected to the PBS documentary American Creed (broadcast nationally February 27 and streaming free of charge starting February 28 at www.pbs.org/americancreed). Through stories set in big cities, small towns, and rural areas around the country, American Creed wrestles with key challenges facing American youth today, including creating economic opportunity and finding ways to meaningfully participate in civic life. The film encourages youth to explore questions like “What should America’s national ideals be?” and “How do we close the gap between ideals and reality?” American Creed is co-produced by Citizen Film and WTTW.

You and the youth you work with are invited to add your voice to the conversation about American Creed. Bring the film to your classroom or learning center, and support young people in responding through writing, art, and media. Teens (13+) and young adults are invited to share their responses on the National Writing Project’s American Creed youth publishing site (also coming February 27).

How to Get Involved:

  • Review the Prompts: There are five prompts available as an open invitation for youth to write in response to American Creed. For each prompt we’ve put together extended text and related resources.
  • Work the Film into Your Curriculum: Teachers can use the film in whatever way fits their local curriculum and youth interests. Adapt the prompts to your context and teaching style.
  • Publish Your Students: Sign up your classroom or learning space to use the American Creed youth publishing site to have your students publish their work and share their responses as part of a larger discussion about American Creed (beginning February 27, 2018).
  • Sign Up: American Creed will broadcast nationally February 27, 9/8c and will be available for streaming free of charge starting February 28 at www.pbs.org/americancreed. The American Creed youth publishing site will open at the same time and remain open throughout the spring into the summer, 2018. Sign up to receive updates and news about educator opportunities related to the film.
  • Join a community of educators who are also imagining ways to use American Creed, and these invitations to write, with young people in their classrooms and communities.
  • Follow on social media at #americancreed and #americancreedPBS.

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