EAST BRUNSWICK–Creating a platform for teens to use, edit and broadcast their voices, East Brunswick High School junior Shreya Bhardwaj founded the EB Writers Coalition.
On top of being the coalition’s founder and president, Shreya she is also a teen volunteer at East Brunswick Public Library (EBPL).
“The EB Writers Coalition is a platform for teens to use the power of their voice to speak up about issues that concern them. Through articles, graphical representations, and a podcast, our team can spread awareness and present their takes on various domestic and foreign issues,” Shreya said. “Some of the topics we have covered include the housing crisis, the impact of climate change, women’s rights, and many more.”
The EB Writers Coalition was originally founded in August 2020, Shreya said, which formally became an EBPL teen club in November.
After gaining the library’s support, the EB Writers Coalition has been able to expand its reach through social media and its website and has facilitated many club projects that align with its mission.
Shreya said the coalition typically hosts one general meeting as well as one to two other outreach events per month. All events are currently being held via Zoom; however, the coalition is looking into in-person outdoor programs at the EBPL soon.
“At a typical monthly meeting, EB Writers Coalition executive board members prepare a slideshow featuring the work accomplished in the previous month as well as information regarding volunteering, fundraising, team projects and outreach events, as applicable,” Shreya said. “In addition, we often host a team bonding activity at meetings to get everyone more familiar with one another in this remote setting.”
Currently, Shreya said the coalition is working on a short story anthology project in which team members can contribute short stories alluding to any topic they would like and can also submit related artwork to be featured on the inside pages of the anthology.
Once it is published, Shreya said the anthology will be distributed through the EBPL Youth Services Department.
In addition, the coalition scheduled an upcoming Teen Club Tuesday event in-person at EBPL on July 13, where members will promote the coalition mission and previous accomplishments to people visiting the library.
“The [coalition] is a perfect club to join for someone who wants to use the power of their voice to make a difference in the teen community and is interested in writing articles, creating graphics, or participating in our podcast department,” Shreya said. “We would love for incoming eighth grade and above students to join the EB Writers Coalition during the upcoming 2021-22 school year and apply for executive board positions.”
In addition, Shreya said the library offers community service hours for students at Churchill Junior High School and East Brunswick High School who become members, as well as leadership opportunities for executive board members.
To join the EB Writers Coalition, email email@example.com or inquire at the library’s teen space.
Contact Vashti Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.