"The Telling Room offers me the opportunity to connect with students and writers at many levels. I have found a vibrant community where ideas are aired and words find life. Poring over the anthologies so carefully crafted by Telling Room authors and editors, I learn about young people, their aspirations, their joys, their sorrows. As a middle school English teacher, I read volumes of work but never had the time to fully enjoy each piece of student writing. I am getting that opportunity now. Working with The Telling Room staff has given me new ideas about how to encourage a community to join together around the common thread of written language. This written language has flowed into the streets of Portland, been told as stories, fed into video, and been shared through social media. I have been given the freedom to participate as a volunteer in the manner which I choose. I love selecting pieces from anthologies to put onto Facebook but am equally content helping out when an event is upcoming or when other tasks need to be completed. I love being a part of this writing community. It encourages and inspires me."