All Richmond youth find a passion for writing and have the opportunity to share their voices and succeed in a modern culture and economy.
To inspire Richmond youth to become confident and capable writers with the skills necessary to succeed in citizenship, college and career.
Founded in 2008, the Podium Foundation gives Richmond high school students the opportunity to explore their passion for the literary arts while improving upon essential writing and communication skills. We provide writing workshops for students that encourage creative expression while developing essential writing and communication skills.
Every school year, interns and volunteers organize after school clubs in which students receive writing instruction, create original content, and share this content to be critiqued by their peers. Throughout the year, students choose works of their classmates to be featured in semi-annual ‘zines and quarterly multimedia journals. The work of Podium members culminates in an annual journal. Students vote on their favorite works from the year and critique them in editing workshops. Then, these works are collected into the student-designed and professionally printed journal. These journals are then distributed in the Richmond public school system as well as the larger community. In addition to these publications, Podium holds both school-wide and community-wide events.
While focusing primarily on student skills, Podium does offer professional development opportunities for teachers. Each year, Podium hosts T3 Academy workshops in which professionals offer guidance for better writing instruction in the classroom. The student journals are also distributed to these teachers as a classroom aid. In using student work to teach other students, teachers are able to create stronger connections than they would with a traditional textbook style of teaching.
Podium started with only 35 students in four high schools. Today, there are over 200 students participating in clubs in every Richmond public high school. Through student workshops and professional development, Podium is creating new opportunities for success in the Richmond educational community.