The Story Pirates, a performing arts group based in Los Angeles and New York, host workshops at schools to help engage students in creative writing. After hosting an initial gathering at each school explaining the basics of storytelling, kids are charged to write their own stories. The incentive for doing so? The Pirates will select a few student pieces, adapt them into plays, and return to perform the works for the school in “Idea Storm” sessions and repeat performances at small theaters in New York and Los Angeles.
The possibility of having their story performed inspires kids to write and gives them more ownership of their work. Teachers have noted that even those students who are shy or who don’t like to write actively participate in the sessions and eagerly compose new stories. Though the group has not yet collected official metrics of evaluation, it is clear that for many students the program results in increased self-esteem, self-expression, artistic aptitude, attendance, and social interactions with peers.