Youth Programs

Seattle Arts & Lectures believes that literacy and a love for writing is a life-long process that starts in our public schools and connects directly to our public stages. Through Writers in the Schools (WITS) and our Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) programs, SAL connects working professional writers with students and teachers to elevate and amplify the voices of students throughout the Puget Sound region.

Writers in the Schools

Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools (WITS) program places professional local writers in public elementary, middle, and high school classrooms, empowering young people to discover and develop their authentic writing and performance voices. Since 1994, the program has served over 100,000 students throughout the Puget Sound region. Through WITS, students become authors of their own lives.

Youth Poet Laureate

The Seattle Youth Poet Laureate is a joint program of Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools (WITS) and Urban Word NYC. Founded in Seattle in 2015 by WITS writers Matt Gano and Aaron Counts, the YPL program aims to identify young writers and leaders who are committed to civic and community engagement, poetry and performance, human relations, diversity, and education. The Youth Poet Laureates share their powerful voices, leadership, and love of community at events throughout the region over the course of the year, and also publish their poems in a collection released in May.