Youth as Knowledge Creators


PROVIDENCE, RI—When WKCD made its online debut in 2002, we had one goal: to champion what we called “powerful learning with public purpose” by this nation’s adolescents.

In the years since, we have spread our wings. Our work with young people now covers four continents. We started our own nonprofit book publishing company, producing two or three new titles each year with youth as collaborators. We have also been a grantmaker, supporting action research and media creation by young people aged 10 to 22.

While our portfolio has grown, our mission remains the same. Day in and out, WKCD presses before the broadest audience possible the power of what young people can accomplish when given the opportunities and supports they need and what they can contribute when we take their voices and ideas seriously.

The WKCD website (this website!) now includes thousands of pages. We have produced close to 300 feature stories that present young people's lives, learning, and work, and their partnerships with adults both in and out of school. We have created special collections that range from gathering the voices of middle-schoolers to honoring mentors that matter in the lives to teens. We have supported, financially and technically, over 75 projects that nurture youth as citizen journalists, from the Bronx to Beijing. Some say has the largest online collection of high quality, diverse student work in the world.

Here we launch a new WKCD collection: small but strong examples of U.S. high school students, with the support of adult allies, acting as knowledge creators. Among today's calls for proficiency-based learning, the stories and student products we share are, we hope, both illustrative and inspiring. We have chosen work that not only engages youth in high level tasks, but also demands that they make meaning out of the information they gather—and then make a difference.

We will add to this collection as the months pass.

Urban Barciode Project (New York City, NY, 2.20.12)

Got Math: Math Research and Service Learning (Minneapolis, MN, 2.20.12)

Media Literacy Students Speak Out on Internet Freedom (Albuquerque, NM, 2.20.12)

Students Warn Peers and Parents about Cyberbullying (Chicago, IL, 2.20.12)

Six Public High Schools, Six Years After the Storm: Student Voices from Inside New Orleans’ Educational Experiment (New Orleans, LA, 2.20.12)

Speaking Out: The Inequities of College Access (Elon, NC, 2.20.12)

Shout Outs



have a story for wkcd?

Want to bring public attention
to your work? WKCD invites
submissions from youth and
educators worldwide.

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“There’s a radical—and wonderful—new idea here… that all children could and should be inventors of their own theories, critics of other people’s ideas, analyzers of evidence, and makers of their own personal marks on the world.”

– Deborah Meier, educator