Write Now! Dream Keepers

Write Now! Dream Keepers
Through Dream Keepers, Author and Coach Rochelle Melander teaches young people how to use writing to make sense of their lives and capture their dreams.

The Dream Keepers Creative Writing Workshop unites parents, teachers, and professional writers-in-residence to teach youth how they can transform their lives and their communities through writing. Dream Keepers opens up quiet, safe spaces for young people to read and write and provides them with an online venue for sharing their work. The Dream Keepers have had great success—they have been featured twice on WUWM’s Lake Effect and were winners in Schwartz bookstore’s 2008 six-word memoir contest.

Dream Keepers Online Work
This fall, the Write Now! Coach and Dream Keepers encourages you to run a write-a-thon in your classroom, school, or library. Choose a project, set a deadline, choose your word count goal, and write! We invite teachers, authors, writer-in-residence, and parents to use Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It) to stimulate writing in their classroom, library, and home. Check out our blog for encouragement and ideas!

Join us! Who knows what you’ll achieve?
Young people from 5th-12th grade are welcome to participate in our weekly Milwaukee Group. The program is free and open to the public.

Check out the Dream Keepers Blog for current meeting information.

Dream Keepers

A Note from Dream Keepers’ Founder, Rochelle Melander
I started Dream Keepers in 2006 with a small group of teen girls from Milwaukee’s inner city. We named ourselves “Dream Keepers,” after a poem by Langston Hughes. Hughes believed that writers were the dream keepers of the community. We are! As someone who makes a living as a writer and coach—a dream keeper—I want to support young people in becoming dream keepers. I have no doubt that this work transforms lives right now. And I know that Dream Keepers will grow. It has to—Milwaukee’s 8th-grade African American students score the lowest in the nation in writing. That’s crazy—and wrong. Dream Keepers can change that. Then we can work on my other dreams for the program—becoming a national program to transform the lives of young people through writing.

Why do teens need to write?

  • Writing makes you smarter. Studies show that young people who practice any type of writing will write better than those who do not. In addition, people who write down their deepest thoughts, feelings, and dreams are healthier, happier, and have better success achieving their goals.
  • Writing improves your reading scores. In a recent study, young people who had failed reading comprehension participated in a twelve-week writing workshop, completing their own books. Reading comprehension scores improved dramatically.
  • Writing gets you the job. In a recent study from the National Commission on Writing, “people who cannot write and communicate clearly will not be hired.” At least half of the companies surveyed stated that they took writing into consideration for hiring and promotion. And get this: More than eighty percent of “the companies in the services and the finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) sectors, the corporations with the greatest employment growth potential, assess writing during hiring.”


Intrigued? Read the Dream Keeper’s Blog to discover what the DKs are writing right now.

Inspired? The Dream Keepers need blank journals and books. Contact coach Rochelle Melander to find out where to send your donation.

Or, purchase a Dream Keepers product! All proceeds benefit the Dream Keeper

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Urban Haiku

No child left behind
Have faith in education
I'm ten; I can't read.
—Elisha Branch

Bethel Baptist Church
Rummage Sale is this Friday
How much for Jesus?
—Elisha Branch

Freedom Schools

Where I Come From
by Marcus

Where I come from people
walk with their head down.
They shun the world out only
look within themselves.

Where I come from
beautiful smiles
are hard to find
but a rude stare
is always constant.

Where I come from
love is just
a word thrown in the air, even if it's
family or friends.

Where I come from
isn't actually
where I come from.
it's a stage
I must pass in my life.