House of SpeakEasy's educational outreach brings writers into New York City public schools, after-school programs, and community centers. For the last five years, we have brought dozens of writers to teach and work one-on-one in small groups with promising high school students as part of Union Settlement’s highly regarded College Readiness Program in East Harlem. John Guare, Tina Chang, Susan Cheever, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Mira Jacob, Torrey Maldonado, Margo Jefferson, and Mitchell S. Jackson are a few of the writers who have participated.
In addition, we also organize student matinees in partnership with public schools in Brooklyn and The Bronx, featuring writers and performers sharing inspiring life stories and offering small group workshops. Matinees feature a range of poets, novelists, and memoirists speaking a pre-selected theme (i.e., “Seize the Day,” “You Only Live Once,” “Turn the Page”). Past authors have included Jason Reynolds, Mahogany L. Browne, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Tanwi Nandini Islam, David Tomas Martinez, and Victor LaValle. Students experience the power of storytelling up close and personally, with ample opportunity to workshop their own ideas with the writers who inspire them.