Lake Erie Ink is a creative outlet for kids.
“Children don’t often have the space or time to explore their ideas and then present them, so others can hear and read what they have to say," said co-founder and co-director Amy Rosenbluth. "That is one of the main reasons we started Lake Erie Ink.”
Rosenbluth, along with Cynthia Larsen, has been running Lake Erie Ink through local Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools and libraries.
But beginning Sept. 19, they will occupy space in the building and host classes and workshops.
Lake Erie Ink, true to its name, is primarily a writing space for students from the fourth grade up through high school. This fall, their programming will include writing workshops for students in the sixth grade and up, along with a Saturday workshop for students of all ages.
The Cleveland Heights Planning Commission at its meeting Aug. 10 so it could use space in the former elementary school.
Nancy Levin, director of the Heights Library system, attended the meeting and expressed her support for Lake Erie Ink.
"We've been working with Lake Erie Ink for two (years). We find that their mission absolutely corresponds with ours … They have been working at and they have been working in the school district, and I don't think you'll have any trouble with them as a tenant," Levin said. "As a neighbor, at the across the street, we look forward to having them located at the school because they can continue working with us that way."
In addition, from Monday through Thursday, the organization will open The Ink Spot, an after-school homework support program for students in the fourth to eighth grades. The assistance, which will cover all school courses (not just writing), will be available from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
“We want to provide creative expression and academic support to students throughout greater Cleveland," Rosenbluth said. "We’ve been doing this for more than seven years within the schools and now we’ll have a permanent location where we can offer even more services.”
The writing support offered by Lake Erie Ink is wide ranging — from plays to poetry and from comic book writing to creative nonfiction.
“We also want to help students take their written work to the finish," she said. "We’re not grading, we’re just giving the assistance they need to complete projects.”
Lake Erie Ink is supported by various grants, so the registration per student is kept low at just $25 per quarter. Once registered, a student can participate in all the programming. But space will be limited.
There will be an Open House and Registration Night for parents on Sept. 7 and Sept. 12 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. For those who would like to volunteer, an orientation session will be held on Aug. 24 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. All will be held at the Coventry School, 2843 Washington Blvd.
"This is just the kind of positive programming we need for our youth," Levin said.
For more information, visit their website at lakeerieink.org.
Cleveland Heights Patch Editor Michelle Simakis contributed to this article.