"Barrio Writers" TV Show Gives Voice to Young Writers

Teen stories featured on Garden Grove Channel 3 and other community channels

By Sarah Rafael Garcia
Published on LatinoLA: February 24, 2011

"Barrio Writers" TV Show Gives Voice to Young Writers

Carissa Hernandez didn't know what to expect when she joined 30 other students in a program called "Barrio Writers," in the summer of 2009. Program founder and author Sarah Rafael Garcia wanted to provide youth in underserved communities a chance to express themselves in a free, college-level creative writing workshop. The effort resulted in a book titled, "Barrio Writers, Empowering Teens Through Creative Writing." But getting the word out about "Barrio Writers," didn't end with a first edition. Hernandez is set to share the work of her fellow students, as host of the Barrio Writers TV show set to air on cable TV (see schedule below).

"It was unnerving seeing yourself on the screen," says Hernandez now a sophomore at Segerstrom High School in Santa Ana. "Being able to see how the whole TV thing works ÔÇô the different takes ÔÇô and then when you see the show, how it all fits together."

The program was taped last year at the Time Warner Television studio in Garden Grove. The teens recite their works on camera including poetry, short stories and bi-lingual writing. Workshop students composed and performed the theme song.

"What I look forward to at a Barrio Writer workshop is that glow on their face, the pride they feel for the first time when they share their stories," says Garcia.

"The Barrio Writers is an open space to get to know yourself and learn from others," says Xochitl Sanchez. "It has definitely reinforced my drive to use my opportunities when it comes to college."

The Barrio Writers TV show begins airing on February 23 through March 16 in the following cities:

Garden Grove:
Channel 3, Wednesdays, 12:30 pm and 5:30 pm

Channel 6, Tuesdays, 7 pm

Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley & surrounding areas:
Channel 6, Wednesdays, 3:00 pm and 9:00 pm

Buena Park, Fullerton, Placentia, & Santa Ana:
Channel 95, Wednesdays, 6:30 am and 6:30 pm
Channel 95, Saturday, 4:30 am and 4:30 pm

Anaheim/Anaheim Hills & Villa Park:
Channel 97, Fridays, 6:30 am and 6:30 pm
Channel 97, Saturday, 4:30 am and 4:30 pm

Brea, La Habra, La Habra Heights, & Yorba Linda:
Channel 98, Fridays, 6:30 am and 6:30 pm
Channel 98, Saturday, 4:30 am and 4:30 pm

For more information, log on to the City's website at www.ci.garden-grove.ca.us www.garden-grove.ca.us and click Channel 3. Contact Sarah Rafael Garcia at (714) 98-YOUTH or (323) 972-6980 or Ben Vasquez at (714) 235-4736 for more information on the Barrio Writers program.

About Sarah Rafael Garcia:
Sarah Rafael Garcia is an active writer & published author. Since the publication of Las Ni??as in 2008, she founded Barrio Writer in 2009, a summer writing program aimed to empower youth through creative writing, higher education & cultural arts.
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