In pursuit of
knowledge and freedom of expression
Students of all abilities and backgrounds need every possible advantage to reach – and exceed – their goals in life, school, higher education, and careers. The world is more fast-paced and everyone is expected to keep up.
With multiple distractions and stress in their lives, young people often miss out on chances to experience and learn new things, reach their goals and excel.
The Knowledge Project, “TKP.” Educators and parents have come to us to collaborate on alternative strategies that meet and exceed a School Education Plan and the Standards. We challenge students to set personal goals and provide them with the coaching, knowledge, and strategies to achieve each benchmark. We emphasize process, structure and character. The result: self-reliant students who envision, write and communicate well.
The Knowledge Project (TKP) grew out of the national annual Children’s Creative Writing Campaign (CCWC) and was started in 1993 by Margaret Hunnewell because she had a passion for reading and storytelling, professional knowledge of media-tech, and as a young parent, concern about literacy. “Playing to a student’s strengths works” is her long-standing motto.
Through the CCWC and TKP, groups of parents, strategic partners, sponsors, coaches, and teachers, learned to cultivate critical thinking and the art of creative writing in students. Student writers and professionals in the writing, publishing, and performing arts were paired in creative ways. Partnerships brought librarians, authors, playwrights, journalists, animators, mapping and data analysts, etc. into student projects, resulting in publications, animated films, and performances – live and digital.
Ms. Hunnewell tapped great mentors to guide her in this endeavor - Richard Sterling of The Writing Project, Nancy Shapiro, former Executive Director of Teachers & Writers Collaborative, Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach for America, and Edward Gottsman, systems developer for Lexis. The meld of ingenuity and expertise with TKP’s mission and values, shaped a new course for student achievement. The CCWC maintains a Story Archive of over 360,000 works of children’s art and writing.
Currently, the I Write NY initiative is TKP’s response to drops in literacy levels in schools across the USA. Writing and communication are essential tools for knowledge acquisition and success. In response to Covid-19 restrictions, building resilience and positive mind-set are a current focus in all TKP projects.
TKP’s goal is to cultivate each student’s strengths and creative potential through in-person and virtual courses and events. Our mission is to guide the next generation of writers, creatives, and communicators to express themselves knowledgeably with discernment, and whenever possible, pay it forward.
In 1996, TKP was invited by the NYC Department of Education to produce a citywide K - 12 writing initiative. The result, a teaching resource publication, In Our Own Write, of best writing practices and student writing, and events in every borough with celebrities like RUN DMC who performed writing from the publication. Some 110,000 teachers and students participated in this initiative.
CCWC officially transitioned to TKP in 2000, and became known for its leadership and ability to integrate literacy, media, and IT across the curriculum. Hands-on, applied learning approaches were used and regularly updated. Educators, award-winning authors, notable artists, writers and business people brought their expertise to each program expansion. TKP set best practices and high expectations, tailoring programs to the communities being served.
Overseeing content and course outlines is our wise program and content developer, lead writing coach, and children’s book and curriculum writer, Sheila K. Lewis. Educational and global insights and actionables are offered by colleagues like Alan D. Cohen, Global Education Strategist, Futurist; Eric Boscia, Creative Director; Copywriter, the late Sue Trott; Shakespeare specialist and director, Jose Esquea; Alistair Martin-Smith, former Director, NYU Steinhardt School of Theatre Education; Scientist-Writer, David McMullen; writing coach, Cindy Beer-Fouhy; and Clifford Cohen, founder, AnimAction USA.
CURRENT INITIATIVES & PROGRAMS
TKP developed out of a national creative writing initiative, Children’s Creative Writing Campaign and a wide range of programs designed to enrich K – 12 academics in New York schools through writing, communication and the arts. Integrated in all our programs are S.M.A.R.T goals.
Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Relevant. Time-Bound.
I Write NY
Our new initiative is offering middle and high school students many opportunities to earn points as a Word Master, show their talents and be published, and win awards of merit. Awardees qualify to be part of a small group of New York students selected each semester to be coached by a well-known writer and have the work published.
The Children’s Creative Writing Campaign (CCWC)
CCWC launched in 1993 and incorporated as a Federal 501(c)(3) in 1995, offers a nationwide network of schools an annual campaign that promotes creative writing for student writers and artists (pre-k to 8th grade), and an audience outside the classroom. Students submit original work annually for review by a volunteer reading committee of writers, publishers and story developers. Every young author who submits their writing is acknowledged. Those who write stories with high ranking scores receive local media acknowledgment and are invited to have their work published or adapted. The CCWC Story Archive houses more than 360,000 children’s creative writing and artwork.
Winter 2021 Programs
Teens: Writing Television Comedy
with playwright and television spec script writer, Sarah Congress. Tuesdays and Saturdays from February 23 - March 27
Write from Experience & Publish
with novelist, editor and Exec Editor and Coach of Teens Mind zine Lisa A. Chambers. Wednesdays and Fridays from February 24 - February 26
with author, writing coach and performer, David Tabatsky. Classes are ongoing.
The Team in The Know
Founder / Executive Director
Former journalist, story developer, producer and production supervisor of motion pictures, television, radio, theater and dance productions. Member of the Directors Guild of America East, NY Women in Film, Theater and Television, Women’s National Book Association and the Parents Club of West Point. Ms. Hunnewell is a graduate of Bennington College and the Université de Grenoble, France. Committed to elevating knowledge and learning through literacy, writing, media and the arts, she founded the CCWC initiative in the early 90s and The Knowledge Project in 2000.
Lead Trainer, Grant Writer and Content Developer
Educator, author, curriculum writer, editor and tutor who has taught writing, creative arts, and social-emotional learning. Ms. Lewis is a graduate of Boston University School of the Arts and Teachers College, Columbia University. She trains coaches and teachers to integrate their knowledge and creativity into their work with students, and has worked on content and program initiatives for The Knowledge Project since 1998.
Financial and Office Administrator
Financial and office administrator since coming from Indonesia in 1998, Ms. Tanu joined the organization in 1999. She received her BA in Accounting from Atma Jaya University. She maintains the financial records, prepares reports for the Board to review, and oversees fiscal budgeting for grants. She has weathered many storms (literally, Hurricane Sandy) and changes in city administrations and continues to keep the office (on-site and virtual) running smoothly.
Program Director & Outreach Coordinator
Graduate of George Washington University (BA) and Johns Hopkins University School of Education (MAT), Ms. Padder has spent eight years working in the Baltimore and Brooklyn school systems before founding Alpha Arts Alliance, an art collective focused on accessibility and mentorship. She shares her passion for teaching and mentoring students and a commitment to bringing the arts to every child to The Knowledge Project, since jumping on board in Fall, 2020.
Communications and IT Manager
Graduate from Johns Hopkins University with a BA in Latin American Studies and a minor in Film and Media studies, Mr. Silveira possesses both the creative mind and technical know-how to provide IT support for coaches, students, and staff to optimize the use of the online tools available, and joined the grateful team in 2020.