End of 2010

The end of 2010 is in our sights. Our fall programs are winding down after a great and successful semester. Our Austin High kids have been diligently devising and pitching inventions for our future, and the students at Anderson have been writing songs and song lyrics, and the Texas Empowerment kids have written fairy tales and children’s books, and the students at Kealing have written comic books and graphic novels and are hard at work illustrating them. Over the past four months, Austin Bat Cave co-hosted with the Austin Public Library a comic-book writing workshop, and with the Austin School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a songwriting workshop. Our Story Department series has grown, as we’ve introduced better and better storytellers, sadder and funnier stories, to the Austin public. And to top it all off, Austin Bat Cave was the Austin Chronicle’s Editor’s Pick for Best Place to Develop your Child’s Creativity. By all counts, 2010 has been a grand year for Austin Bat Cave.

Our goal now is to make 2011 even better.

Since assuming the directorship of Austin Bat Cave this past summer, there has been a constant, recurring theme that I’ve heard again and again: A resounding more!

• More schools have asked us to conduct yearlong or even one-day workshops in their classrooms.
• More parents want us to offer more after-school tutoring sessions, host more weekend writing workshops and summer camp workshops.
• Our staff and interns and volunteers are eager to start more programs, write more curricula, and reach more students.
• And no matter how often we see our young writers, no matter how many poems or short stories or essays we make them write, the students we work with want us to visit them more—and more often.

Each year since our first workshops began in 2007 Austin Bat Cave has grown workshop by workshop, classroom by classroom, so that we are now serving 500 students per month and counting.

Yet, knowing that students need Austin Bat Cave now more than ever, we feel the need to do still more.

To that end, Austin Bat Cave is embarking on an ambitious and Austin-worthy project: the development of a permanent writing and tutoring center in East Austin that will help us reach over 1,500 students a month, will allow us to host more on-site writing workshops, build a robust after-school tutoring program, and become an integral part of the vibrant growth of the expanding East Austin community, providing services to kids and parents and teachers free of charge.

But to do this, to continue to provide more workshops, to reach more struggling students—to do more ourselves—we are asking you, who have done so much already, to do more as well.

Here’s the upshot: to maintain its programming, to expand its reach, and to launch a capital campaign to build the storefront and writing center, Austin Bat Cave needs ongoing support. All of us who are involved with ABC appreciate your past generosity—and hope that you will continue to help us so we can realize our ambitious goals. Today I ask you to make a financial contribution to Austin Bat Cave. To gauge the impact of your dollars, it may help you to know that every $100 gift enables ABC to serve one additional student for a semester. Whether you give $100, $1,000, or $10,000, you are helping us help the youth of our city. You can donate on our website (www.austinbatcave.org/donate) or mail your tax-deductible donation to Austin Bat Cave, PO Box 4762, Austin, TX, 78765.

And again, we at Austin Bat Cave would like to thank you for the support and energy and enthusiasm you’ve given us over the years, and I would like to personally thank my staff, Candace and Jenna, and our interns and volunteers for all the hard work they’ve done and continue to do for Austin Bat Cave. I ask so much of them all and somehow they manage to give me more than I even ask for.

All the best,
Manuel Gonzales
Executive Director, Austin Bat Cave

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