“It just makes me feel really accomplished and heard”: StudentsXpress and the value of student expression

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StudentsXPress is a quarterly print magazine published for and by Chicago Public Schools students that features stories and artwork based around a central topic for them to discuss, with the goal of opening up a student-to-student dialogue on common community issues.

Founder Rachel Switall talks about the project’s beginnings as an exercise in problem-solving-through-writing in Cabrini Green and how her idea has evolved over time.  Working in the Schools executive director Brenda Palm describes the role of volunteer mentors in the kids’ writing process and the importance of collaboration between the non-profits; and we get a taste of the creative process from the students’ standpoint from Du Bois Elementary teacher Andrea Dydo and some live readings by young contributors Lulu Cheabaro, Kayla Kelly, Briana Zuniga and Erica Hagan.