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NYSLC Writing from Education Programs

Writing From New York State Literary Center’s Programs

Together we are seeking to understand 
each other,
together we are searching for answers.
Why does society hate some communities.
All we want to do
    is bask in the reality
    of the taste of hope,
spread optimism,
be loved for who we are,
engage with what matters,
and be loyal to the causes that directly affect us
as members of a community.

R.P., NYSLC Incarcerated Education Program 2018

Why do I write?
I write because something put in my own words matters to me.
I write to bring peace to my soul at night.

        J.N., NYSLC Incarcerated Education Program 2018

I want teachers to know important our children’s education is to those of us who are incarcerated. Please

keep in mind the well-being of each and every child. Each child’s mind is important.

Just because a child acts out does not mean that child needs to be labeled “problem.” What if that child were your son or daughter?

I am an incarcerated parent, and my children’s attitude did 180 after I was gone. How can we know what is really going on in a child’s life?

Please get to know each child. Please show each child you care. Please be a friend when child needs a friend most.

A. G., NYSLC Incarcerated Education Program 2018

Will I be remembered by someone out there, somewhere,

in some way, some day or

will I fade away?

Will someone shed a tear for me,

or hear my cries, or hear my pleas,

or say a word or two of kindness

to take away my pain just for today

or . . . will I fade away?

Will I miss the rain, the contrast of colors,

my emotions on life’s canvas,

while looking out my window from afar, lying in my bed

tangled in my sheets,

listening to sad songs playing in my head,

tasting salt within my tears feeding my fears,

thinking to myself

will I fade away?

D. D. R., NYSLC Incarcerated Education Program 2019

What About Me

Lock him up, throw away the key they say.
Three meals a day, TV in room, should be grateful they say.
Visits and phone calls, don't deserve it they say.
But what about me?
He is still my Dad.
His sentence is my sentence too.
Punish him and punish me too.
Do I not deserve to see my Dad,
a visit to see he is okay,

a visit to talk about my day,
a visit to have a hug?
Do I not deserve to speak to my Dad,
a call to say "Hi",
a call to talk about my week,
a call to say "Good night sleep tight"?
What about me?

Luke, 11 years old