This summer, I am teaching a creative writing course at a local juvenile justice center. It’s my effort at tikkun olam. It’s what I can offer, and there are many who say it can help those teens who are incarcerated. I did some research and found information about the Pongo method and was intrigued. It’s a good book. Though I’ve never understood the designation “at-risk,” (isn’t everyone at-risk, especially teens?), I think the book itself is useful. Gold provides a compelling combination of theory and practice that gives me the confidence to move forward  with more specific lesson plans. There’s guidance here about how to listen, take dictation, structure your session, deal with sensitive topics, etc.. This book, together with the website ( will serve me during the summer and the school year.