Eager students fill the new Mighty Writers Center in Camden

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Eager students fill the new Mighty Writers Center in Camden. Jeannette Reyes reports during Action News at 5 a.m. on July 14, 2018. (WPVI)

Friday morning, about a dozen eager students filed in to the newly-opened Mighty Writers Center at Jasper and Broadway streets in Camden. The organization has several locations in Philadelphia.

The assignment of the day: What would you do to survive in a rainforest?

"I think it's good," said Joshua Soria, a sixth grader. "Reading and writing and all the books."

"We need to learn like colorful words, so I think that's what we are going to do, learn new words," said Aubrey Johnson, also a sixth grader.

"We find that once the student is thinking and writing with clarity it actually helps them make better decisions overall for their lives and for their future," said Vanessa Malave, Program Coordinator for Mighty Writers Camden.

Much like the name suggests, the program's mission is to teach Philadelphia, and now Camden, students, ages seven to 17, to better express themselves.

For inner city kids, who may often witness violence or experience trauma, it's a positive and much needed outlet. As Camden native, Malave knows that all too well.

"I know first-hand what the children in this area can be exposed to, what they can be experiencing," said Maleve. "And I thought it was very important that they were able to look up to someone who was from the same background as them."

The newly renovated building, which houses the program, is owned by the Nick Virgilio Organization which encourages creative writing. Virgilio was a well-known Haiku poet from Camden who often stressed the importance of telling one's story.

"They have a lot of stories to tell that are really powerful stories that we don't hear because if you can't express yourself in words then it's hard to get over to the next person," said Henry Brann, whos with the Nick Virgilio Association.

Although this program is free for participants, the organizers depend on grants and generous donors to keep it that way. If you would like to support, visit their website.

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