COVID-19 Response Update
On February 28th, our programs ground to an abrupt halt, as the COVID-19 crisis became all-consuming for our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ programs. The first thing I had to figure out was how could we do our part to try to stop the spread of the virus while continuing to provide programs. As we worked to do this, we were mindful that 34% of people who sexually abuse a child are family members. With students being stuck in the house, we quickly realized that our program is essential. For some students, accessing it onsite …is absolutely critical.
Pictured above Eric Jones, Creator of Writing for the Soul Workshop™ and Walter Sims, Director of Sims Strategic Mentoring discuss ways to give books to students that aligns with both our program’s Pandemic Crisis Action Plan.
With distance learning and alternate methods of instruction (AMI) now in place, we have resumed offering all of the WOW Factors packed within our program -like Social Emotional Learning and mentorship to students onsite here in Arkansas. Regarding health and safety, we quickly created a Pandemic Crisis Action Plan and implemented strict screening protocols using CDC Guidelines beginning with restricting visitors in our onsite locations.
Our Pandemic Crisis Action Plan also included screening for COVID-19 exposure, travel, attendance at large social gatherings, illnesses, and temperatures above 99 degrees. Since then, 93% of the students accessing our program onsite report that being able to spend time with a mentor is essential and that it helps them cope with anxiety due to social isolation and boredom.
Writing for the Soul Workshop™
Since the summer of 2009, Writing for the Soul Workshop™ has enhanced the quality of life for students around the world. Throughout the years one thing I’ve learned is that no matter our differences, we all go through a lot in life. Some of us more than others.
This is not your average writing program. Our focus is not academics, yet students who access our program begin to do better academically. When engaged, the writing program becomes a safe haven for writers to simply get what’s on the inside …out. Misspelled words and all. Watch the video below to see how it works:
Mentors are what makes Writing for the Soul Workshop™ so successful. The Mentor to Participant relationship strengthens the engagement that participants have with the Workshop, and can also help facilitators better understand what motivates our participants.
Training is required for Mentors because it outlines the way you should interact with our participants. Click here to review our eligibility requirements. While “mentor” is a specific role within our program’s structure, the mentor training outlines what a responsible mentoring relationship looks like, and how their unique role and relationship with workshop participants strengthens the overall success of the workshop.
Mentoring is, simply, the right thing to do. You do not need a particular religious orientation or specific motive to be a mentor in our program. If you are in a position to give of your time—and many of us are—that is all you must have to begin.