Hanging Out with Teens with Dreams

Katie Eder and Crew on EdInnov Hangout

I am thankful I was asked to host an Educator Innovator session the other night with Katie Eder, the teen founder of an expanding project called Kids Tales, which provides free writing camps with paths to publication for young writers, often in communities that are struggling.  All camps are organized and run by teenagers. The teens write curriculum, pitch for funding, and created a non-profit. In fact, the entire Kids Tales organization is completely run by teenagers.

When we talk about Connected Learning, about how to empower young people to engage with the world through networking and through learning and through making, the Kids Tale story shows how a vision by one young person — Katie — can lead to an entire network of other engaged teens, reaching out to help young writers. And all with minimal help from any adults. It’s also a good example of how technology does not have be a central aspect of Connected Learning — it’s about the connections.

Katie and some of her fellow members of their Board of Directors, Shreya and Morgan, as well as my teaching friend Charlene Doland, joined me for the hour-long discussion about writing, empowering students and making change in the world. I was inspired by the work they are doing. I hope you will be, too.

Take a look at the archives and resources:

Peace (in stories),

One Comment
  1. Great interview and great work by these teens. We had a regular writing project in the tutoring program I led in Chicago in the 1970s and 1980s. Kids wrote around a theme, such as a field trip we took, or a holiday, then we collected and published the stories in a “book”. We then gave these back to the kids. It was really motivational.

    As I listened to the work these young people are doing it reinforces my belief that youth could take meaningful, on-going roles, helping build visibility and draw resources to high poverty neighborhoods of Chicago and other cities, so these types of programs could be continuously available to more kids.

    My hope is that in 20 and 30 years these teens will still be doing this work, but with three decades of experience and much greater visibility. It’s this continuous involvement and learning that creates deeper understanding, passion and commitment to solving complex problems facing the world.

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