Canteen's student journal

Organization Name:
Canteen Arts
City & State:
Describe your creative piece – what is it and what has it been used for, and why is it innovative?
canTeen: Youth on the Page is a nationally-distributed print journal that presents writing and photography from seventh-graders in Harlem, New York. canTeen is produced by Canteen Arts Inc., which runs an after-school tutoring program in Harlem. Canteen Arts’ editors and art directors, along with many famous writers, teach underprivileged youth to embrace writing as an activity that can actually be fun. The print journal, canTeen, motivates students to work hard to improve their writing, because the results will be nationally distributed. Plus their parents will see it… While a few other student-produced journals exist, none are so professionally and elegantly designed. The high-end design of canTeen (thanks in part to InDesign and Photoshop!) shows the students that their work will be taken seriously, and that they should therefore work seriously.
What issue or problem were you working to address with this piece?
Over the past decade, arts and writing programs have been slashed in public schools. A student with improved writing skills will instantly improve their job prospects across a wide-range of careers, in addition to improving their chance of gaining acceptance to a four-year college. In addition, many of our students come from a difficult home environment: It is important for them to have a creative outlet to express their frustrations and anxieties.
How has your submission successfully impacted your organization’s ability to solve this issue/problem?
As a function of their age, our students do not have especially long attention spans. When their attention wanes, the students are gently reminded that their work will be published in canTeen. This is usually sufficient motivation to get them to re-focus. They are truly excited to become published authors (and photographers).
Creative Submission - Files
Creative Submission - URL