WHAT IS THE SUPER POWER AGENCY?
Established in 2016, The Super Power is a Scottish charity (OSCR registration SC046550) working to improve the lives and literacy skills of some of Edinburgh’s most disadvantaged and under-resourced young people. Through a range creative writing workshops, interdisciplinary programming, and mentoring, we work with young people aged 8-18 in schools and other community organisations to give young people the powers they need to close the attainment gap in education, foster aspiration, and become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens.
With the support of our brilliant corps of volunteers, who share their time and talents, we can support the work of teachers and youth workers by lowering the adult to pupil ratio, allowing young people who may need more support to get individualised attention from a caring adult that is not a teacher or a parent but has become invested in their success.
Through our own imprint, Super Power Books, we publish everything the young people write our project-based learning approach means that every workshop has a beginning, middle and end, giving our participants a sense of accomplishment and pride with a finished publication whether it be a book, a zine, or a chapbook and a job well done.
“In terms of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 36% of pupils at Leith Academy are living in what are designated the most deprived areas; with exposure to a world of aspiration, the Super Power Agency initiative is an innovative and exciting way of overcoming this challenge”.
Senior Education Officer, City of Edinburgh Council, Trustee and Super Agent
HOW DO WE KNOW IT WILL WORK?
According to a 2016 Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy (SSLN), between 2012 – 2016 there has been a 15% drop in S2 pupils who performed well or very well in writing and a seven point drop in P7 pupils who write well or very well. The lack of writing ability can have a knock-on affect for these young people affecting them academically, in employment and in life. Our goal is to support these pupils as they become confident and successful writers and to help amplify their voices in the community so that young people go from being seen to being heard AND read.
Since starting our work in 2016, we have expanded from one workshop with 15 pupils at Leith Academy to working with 132 pupils at Leith Academy and Broughton High School, and another 75 pupils in our storytelling and bookmaking workshops at Niddrie Mill Primary, Dalry Primary and Tynecastle High School. We are currently building relationships with other schools and community organisations in Edinburgh where we would like to run workshops over the next several years. Besides working in schools, our ultimate goal is to create Edinburgh’s first youth writing centre dedicated exclusively to young people aged 8 – 18. A safe space where young people can write, create and thrive!
Our work is inspired by American educational charity 826 National (www.826national.org), which aims to help young people develop practical writing skills, increase their self-efficacy, cultivate self-expression, and explore their identity through storytelling. The 826 model has been adopted more than 50 organisations worldwide and the Super Power Agency is part of an international cohort of twenty writing organisations dedicated to showcasing and amplifying youth voice.
“It saddens me to see these statistics but doesn’t surprise me as we see so many of our service users struggling to fill in the most basic of forms; that’s why I am so committed to helping the Super Power Agency. Enabling young people in this way will actually mean we will have less people becoming homeless or ending up in prison at the end of the day. The statistics speak for themselves”.
CEO of Rowan Alba Limited, homelessness charity and Super Agent
The Super Power Agency has a team of trustees that have a broad range of talents. Click here to find out about our Board of Trustees.