Ninive Calegari Interview: Creative Sparks

Ninive Calegari is one of the co-founders of 826 Valencia, a San Francisco based non-profit organisation set up to support students aged 6 to 18 with writing, and to help teachers get their pupils excited about writing. Having seen huge growth in the organisation since its inception in 2002, Ninive was the obvious choice to speak on 'igniting the desire to write' at Scottish Book Trust's Creative Sparks Conference. Paul Gallagher spoke to Ninive about 826's journey so far, asking her how we in Scotland can learn from their achievements and most importantly, how can learning be so much fun? Ninive's answers reflect her enthusiasm and ability to make a genuine difference in the lives of thousands of students.

In the interview Ninive refers to her 7 manifesto suggestions for Scotland, as featured in her speech. They are:
• All students deserve and need one-on-one attention, • Rigor and play are not mutually exclusive, • Volunteering with young people is intoxicating and adults and students must make things together, • Working alongside teachers, respecting their wisdom and expertise, is effective, • Gorgeous spaces tell kids they and their learning are important, • Authentic audiences dignify student work, • Finally, research tells us that the greatest impact in a child’s school experience is the skills of their teacher. There is nothing more important than unleashing the talent and commitment of excellent teachers.

Filed In: Interviews, Learning, Writing