Mighty Writers awarded Longwood grant

Mighty Writers, dedicated to teaching children to think clearly and write with clarity, was awarded a $75,000 grant from the Longwood Foundation of Chester County. The money will be used to fund education as well as distribute food and goods to families in need.

"Because you can't think clearly when you are hungry," said Naomi Levecchia, Mighty Writers' Director of Development explaining the organization's expansion from writing instruction to food distribution. "When COVID-19 closed schools, we started handing out lunches to replace the school lunches. Then we added bilingual books, produce boxes, then meats, eggs, dairy, diapers, wipes, baby formula. We serve 300-400 families a week in the Kennett Area."

"The level of poverty is the highest in the Kennett Area," said Levecchia, comparing it to Mighty Writers' other sites in south Philadelphia, North Philadelphia, and Camden. They were drawn to the Kennett area, "because of the dichotomy with the area around Kennett being one of the wealthiest surrounding regions."

Mighty Writers opened in the Kennett Area in September 2019, offering after-school programs, tutoring, and workshops for toddlers through high school. Their focus is on the area's bilingual population. Since shutting down in-person instruction in March, Mighty Writers at Home offers free after school workshops online, including bilingual workshops.

Volunteers prepare a hot meal of tacos for families who have been especially hard hit from layoffs.

"We are embracing in the English language," said Sara Dickens-Trillo, Might Writers' bilingual literacy leader in Kennett. "Our goal is bilingual, so the idea is for children from the Latin community, where English isn't their first language, to be successful and proud of who they are."

Dickens-Trillo currently runs two learning pods, one in West Grove and one in Landenberg where seventeen elementary school students attend in-person supervised online instruction Monday through Thursdays. In addition, she leads a group of volunteers who pick up and package food for distribution in West Grove on Fridays.

"We need a lot of help right now," said Dickens-Trillo. "Multiple families are living together in one home because rent is so expensive." She is collecting sleeping bags, pillows, winter clothes, and toiletries, because, "some families have to choose between buying a loaf of bread or a tube of toothpaste."

Donations are accepted at the West Grove Chapel between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday – Thursday. Information on Mighty Writers and their online programs can be found at www.mightywriters.org.

About Karen Myers

Karen Myers lives in Pocopson Township and has written for several local publications. A strong supporter of our community, Karen has served on several non-profit boards, such as Pocopson Elementary PTO, The United Way of Southern Chester County, Chester County Art Association and Tick Tock Early Learning Center. She received her M.B.A. from the University of Delaware and worked in marketing and operations with a focus on banking.



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