Summer 2017 Issue: Aife Media
Write Our World is an exciting new educational nonprofit organization recently founded in Denver, Colorado. Its mission is to build multicultural literacy and global citizenship among youth worldwide through ebook authoring.
At a time in history when cross-cultural understanding is so critical, Write Our World offers an answer. By empowering youth from different cultures to write about their world, they are building a digital library of multicultural ebooks by kids for kids.
In the first two years since inception, Write Our World has been busy. To date, it has delivered 15 projects with 350 youth from four different countries who authored over 100 ebooks in 18 different languages. It has engaged children from three Mayan groups in Guatemala, rural Cambodia, Brazil and local immigrants and refugees in the United States. Subjects of the ebooks include the migration experience, traditional customs, recipes, folk tales, music, dancing, and even short memoirs.
They also just completed a collaboration between Muslim and non-Muslim kids in the Denver area, empowering students at local Islamic schools to educate others about their cultures and religion.
All ebooks feature text and audio recordings in two languages along with original photography or illustration.
The benefits for of participation in Write Our World are many. First and foremost, the process of creating bilingual reading material is a powerful method for fostering bilingualism and core literacy skills. Additionally, some of the books are written in small languages that have few available reading materials at all and little to no representation on the internet. Children in the United States whose families have originated elsewhere are at risk of losing connection with their cultural heritage. Write Our World encourages connections within families and communities to help with translation into home languages and accuracy of content, thereby strengthening cultural identity and pride. Abroad, students benefit in their efforts to learn English from translating writing in their native languages. Both groups relish the opportunity to create an original literary piece that will be published online to be read the world over.