Multimedia Story Package

Creative Writing at the Baldwin Center

The Baldwin Center sparks creativity in Pontiac kids. They get an opportunity to explore new ways of writing.

Leider listens as a student reads a story she wrote during class.

Katherine Leider listens as a student reads a story she wrote during class.

Tucked away on quiet, urban street in Pontiac sits what used to be a church. The parking lot is fenced in, but many cars sit among the melting snow banks. In the back is a colorful jungle gym, waiting for warm weather to bring playmates. Through the large windows one can see bright, painted walls.

Inside, the library of the building is a flurry of activity. The sound of chatter and giggling bounces off the walls as a group of six girls scribble joyfully on the papers in front of them.

Welcome to the creative writing class at the Baldwin Center.

What is Baldwin?

Baldwin is a community outreach center in the most urban area of Pontiac. It provides clothing and warm meals for those in need, but most importantly, it is home to an after school program for kids and teens of Pontiac. The youth program is a safe place for kids to go and spend time within the city.

“The Baldwin Center is a place for kids to become empowered,” said Lauren Fuller, the director of the youth program. “We want them to have opportunities that they wouldn’t get otherwise.”

The Creative Writing Class

A student works hard in the creative writing class.

A student works hard in the creative writing class.

“We enlighten the kids with many different clubs and activities for them to be a part of,” Fuller said. “Sometimes, after a long day at school, the kids won’t have any motivation to do anything. And that’s where the program comes in, it gives something fun for the kids to look forward to do and it put something educational into a fun activity.”

One activity that has recently developed there is a creative writing class. Since the summer, it has taken off into a program that kids are excited to attend.  The program provides the kids with the opportunity to explore creative writing and poetry, which is something they don’t have access to during the school day.

“I love coming in to teach,” Katherine Lieder said. “There’s equal excitement on both sides. We get to explore something new every day.”

The kids involved in the program range from 4th grade to 7th.  During each class, they write stories, which are sometimes published on the Baldwin blog.

“I teach all things creative writing,” Leider said. “One week we’ll work on poetry, another comic books, and another we’ll play games about character development.”

The writing class provides a creative outlet for the kids, where they do not have the pressure of school. The girls that attend the class explore different styles of writing each week.

“Sometimes I peek in on the class and the girls are just enthralled by what’s happening,” Fuller said. “I see smiling faces and I hear the stories they tell and I just know that it’s the best thing for them.”

Check out a slide show of the class and their work below:

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