Led by Dr. Tamika Lamb-Sanders, Savvy Pen uses arts education programming to create strategic partnerships between learning institutions and the community to improve educational outcomes for students and provide access to greater resources and opportunities for growth. Since 2009, Savvy Pen has been working with youth and community organizations such as the Legacy Initiative, United Way Valley of the Sun, Boys & Girls Club, Hope’s Crossing, City of Phoenix Parks & Recreation, UPI Education Group, and Communities in Schools in the areas teaching, training, and program development. We enjoy creating programs that incorporate components of art and social justice to allow students to bring a piece of themselves into their work and extend learning beyond the classroom!
We believe in providing humanistic education that integrates critical thinking, learner-centered curriculum, project-based assessments, and diversity. Humanistic principles encourage students to be creative and curious about the world around them. Project-based learning allows students to learn topics and create projects that demonstrate what they have learned. Teaching in this way enables students to internalize knowledge by making it applicable to their lives. We enjoy creating programs that incorporate components of art and social justice to allow students to bring a piece of themselves into their work and extend learning beyond the classroom!
Our work in the community earned us an invitation to speak at the TEDx Phoenix Salon about community sustainability in 2012, a Community Luminary Award in 2014, and a nomination for the 2015 Humanities Rising Star Award for individuals using creative approaches to engage the public in humanities topics. We have produced events that brought historical figures, like the musical giant Gil Scott Heron to the Madcap Theatre in 2010, and social activist Omar Bin Hassan from the “Last Poets” to the Herberger in 2009. Our goal is to continue using the arts to break barriers, inspire youth, and create social change.
For Schools, we offer training related to the following topics: Promoting Diversity & Inclusion, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Engaging and Retaining Disengaged Students, Using Social Justice Principles, Incorporating Arts and Culture into Classrooms, Managing Stress and Burnout, and Leading Through Action. For Businesses, we offer professional development related to Leadership Development, Conflict Resolution, Effective Listening, Diversity Training, Sexual Harassment, Work/Life Balance, Creating Team Environments, How to Sale Yourself, Strategic Planning, and Becoming a Confident Speaker.
Savvy Pen worked with the City of Phoenix to develop a writing course for aspiring authors called "Discovering Your Voice", a Goal Setting and Career Planning workshop called "Career Launch" for Hopes Crossing, a Veteran’s Showcase with Burton Bar Library, and an annual "Black History Celebration" event in partnership with Channel Powe and the Balsz School District that provides workshops, student showcases, and opportunities for youth to engage with prominent African American leaders in the community.
Our signature event is an annual "MLK Creative Writing Contest" for students in grades 6-12. The contest invites students to write a poem or essay about a dream they have for themselves or their community. Winners receive $100 each and chance to perform their work at a public event. Dr. Tamika Lamb-Sanders is also proud to be a part of Arizona Humanities’ AZ Speaks Program, which offers top-quality lectures on a variety of humanities subjects relevant to Arizona K-12 curricula at no cost to schools.
We pride ourselves on developing partnerships that connect communities, empower youth and enhance educational outcomes. As a result, Savvy Pen works with community partners such as: AABSE Teacher Leadership Summit, Arizona Humanities AZ Speaks Program, ASU Performance in the Borderlands, Balsz School District, Black Poet Ventures, Dia de Los Ninos, the Bi-National Arts Residency, Global Village, Maricopa Community College’s Multicultural Education Conference, Mesa Arts Center, Phonetic Spit, Phoenix Center for the Arts, Rising Youth Theatre, Roosevelt School District, Tempe Union School District, UPI Education Group, Youth Express Entrepreneurship Program and LEAP.
Below are Educator Resources for Instruction, Speakers in Schools and our Brochure with a list of Programs and Services we offer.