Tim Whitaker and Mighty Writers: Giving Kids the Power of Writing

February 5, 2020

Hosted by Robert Rimm

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Numbers don’t lie. Philadelphia is the poorest big city in the country. Nearly 40-percent of the city’s students are not graduating high school and only 30-percent of eighth grade kids are reading and writing at grade level.

That’s why in 2009, Mighty Writers was launched with a five-word elevator pitch: To teach kids to write.

They do this through four-day-a-week writing academies at their six neighborhood locations in Philadelphia, at their Kennett site in West Grove, and at their site in Camden, New Jersey.

Over the course of a year—including summers—they take students through every genre of writing but always with the same goal: to get kids to think clearly and write with clarity.

In addition to their daily writing academies, they host dozens of writing workshops. They also have Mighty Toddler classes, mentorships, Teen Scholar programs and college essay writing nights.

Tim Whitaker, Mighty Writers’ executive director, began his career teaching fifth and sixth grade in Philadelphia before becoming a writer and editor. He was the editor of Philadelphia Weekly (from 1994 to 2008), and previously the editor of PhillySport and Pittsburgh magazines.

Whitaker was a head writer at NBC Radio and has written for PBS, The New York Times, Washington Post and Philadelphia Inquirer. He was the executive producer of an award-winning audio documentary on the history of soul radio in Philadelphia and the author of the book, “Crash: The Life and Times of Dick Allen.”






Tune into the interview with Tim and click through the corresponding slideshow to the left… (Photos courtesy of Mighty Writers.)