One of the great things about being in the heart of downtown Chicago is being near so many great attractions, restaurants, and organizations. One of our favorite organizations is Open Books, our neighbor and longtime partner! They’re a great nonprofit in Chicago aimed at promoting literacy among Chicago’s students. (See a more comprehensive outline of Open Books by clicking here.)
What better way to do that than to host Creative Writing Workshops that teach the power of reading & writing! When we volunteer at these workshops, the students come in with a variety of expectations – that it’ll be exciting or boring, fun or dull, helpful or just “whatever.” Regardless of how the students feel, they all leave with the same attitude – they had blast and actually learned a lot!
The kids are great and always (at least eventually) jump on board. This is mostly due to the great format developed by Open Books.
The Open Books volunteers lead the workshop and involve each student. The students are broken into groups and get to discuss each section of the lesson at their own table with their fellow students and a volunteer leader. They learn to make the connection between experience and writing.
On this trip, we helped with a Slam Poetry workshop and listened to examples of slam poetry, played charades to act out emotions, heard hip hop music using similar repetition and description, and brainstormed adjectives.
The end project of the workshop was their own poem using the skills we just learned through our activities. The students wrote about everything from bullies and problems at home to playing games with friends and eating ice cream.
By the time we all packed up and headed off – the students back to school and us back to work – we’d had another great volunteer day with Open Books and we’re happy to continue supporting them through volunteering and by having our Open Books Bookshelf in the hotel (which lets guests take a book to read for free or leave a book with us and earn 250 Best Western Rewards Points).
Come to Chicago to experience a great city with a lot of heart! Book your room now at BEST WESTERN PLUS River North Hotel, the only downtown Chicago hotel with FREE Parking!