The core belief behind the Warrior Movement is that – given the right resources and coaching – Pittsburgh teens can be highly effective educators, mentors, leaders, and community advocates. While offered ongoing training and support, Warriors also exercise a great deal of freedom in designing afterschool programs and advocacy projects in their communities.
The Reading Warriors program employs high school students as reading mentors for 100 elementary school children, teaching them that reading isn’t just a skill to learn, but a powerful way of interacting with the world. Reading Warriors aim to fundamentally change children’s literacy engagement – both in school and at home – by selecting interesting, age-appropriate books to read aloud and by asking thoughtful questions about vocabulary and comprehension.
They also promote literacy in their communities by holding public displays of reading, learning about the public library system, and executing outreach projects to get their neighbors excited about reading. Throughout the program, Reading Warriors are encouraged to document their accomplishments with the children, creating a strong portfolio to share with potential employers and postsecondary schools. Reading Warriors use these portfolios to earn digital badges through Pittsburgh City of Learning.
The Tech Warrior program is possible thanks to generous funding from Google. Following the Warrior model, it coaches and empowers high school students to explore Pittsburgh’s growing Maker Movement and share new technologies with children. Read a story about the program on NEXTpittsburgh.