Writing Enthusiast, Elchanan Grabarsky, Talks on the Power of Creative Writing

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Writing workshop instructor, Elchanan Grabarsky, speaks out on how creative writing impacts young lives.

Writing workshop volunteer, Elchanan Grabarsky, is proud to promote a recent article in Take Part on how a writing workshop in Arkansas is teaching kids more than just the art of storytelling – it is teaching them about diversity and acceptance. As a volunteer tutor and writing instructor, Elchanan Grabarsky is enthusiastic about sharing the value of creative writing endeavors for youth.

“During my time at community college, I enjoyed getting out of the kitchen and volunteering at local schools as a tutor and writing teacher,” he said. “I’m an active reader as well, and I love inspiring children toward lifelong learning and reading. There is something special in creative writing workshops, especially when it is taught with a bit more freedom.”

The article notes that Just Communities of Arkansas, a nonprofit in Arkansas, strives to bring people together to achieve inclusion, equity and justice through creative writing workshops aimed to teach students about themselves and others. Ruth Shepherd, executive director of Just Communities, expounds upon the mission of the organization.

“From our work with young people, we know that they need to be encouraged to find their own voices, and to be confident that what they think and feel is important,” she said. “Giving these youngsters an opportunity to explore the themes of diversity, identity, neighborhood, parents and other important adults and institutions in their lives makes it possible for them to become more introspective, more thoughtful about how they present themselves and how they interact with others.”

According to the report, the class is based on a curriculum to foster social justice created by Kelly Ford, a graduate of the Clinton School of Public Service. In her curriculum paper, Ford writes: “Young people can benefit from a structure that encourages them to think, share and listen face to face. And if, in the doing of these things, they find their voice, improve their communication skills and self-esteem, or develop an affinity for reading and writing, wouldn’t we call that impact?”

Elchanan Grabarsky applauds Ford’s passion. “Creative workshops help students think beyond the classroom – it stretches their imaginations,” he said.

“They learn how to express themselves through poetry or fiction, and they also learn how to extend positive, helpful feedback. I often teach kids how to write from the heart, offering writing exercises with prompts like, “Who raised you?” And other personal topics that teach on diversity, self-esteem, acceptance and understanding.”

The article mentions that Just Communities of Arkansas plans to share the curriculum with its affiliate organizations around the country. Ford and Elchanan Grabarsky believe the power of the arts – literary, performing and visual – can effect change.

ABOUT:

Elchanan Grabarsky is a master chef who moved from the Netherlands to Miami, Florida. He works with his wife as a sous-chef at White Rose, a five star restaurant in downtown Miami. He enjoys improving the culinary experience, finding his professional job both challenging and worthwhile. In his spare time, Grabarsky loves volunteering at local schools as a tutor and writing instructor. Though the job does not pay, he enjoys getting out of the kitchen and impacting kids’ lives in the classroom. He loves reading fiction and poetry, inspiring others toward the two genres.

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Sharon Brummel
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