Writer Surveys

This discussion of Pongo's outcomes begins with a summary of our writer surveys. There are stunning results. The surveys were collected in juvenile detention and the state psychiatric hospital for children, so the context is that our authors come to us having had terrible life experiences. Many are angry or withdrawn. Many have good reason not to trust strangers.

Starting in Fall 2005, we have collected surveys from 1,580 youth (2/3 from juvie and 1/3 from the psychiatric hospital). As you'll see, below, 39% of these Pongo writers had written only a little or not at all before Pongo.

We asked youth to complete a survey whenever there was time at the end of a writing session. Here are the responses:

Did you enjoy this writing experience?     99% YES
Do you feel proud of the writing you did with us?     98% YES
Did you write about things you don't normally talk about? 73% YES
Do you feel that you learned something about writing?     84% YES
Do you feel that you learned something about yourself?  74% YES
If you wrote about things that are bothering you, did the writing help you feel better?     81% YES
Do you think you might write more in the future?     93% YES
If so, do you think you might write during times when life is difficult?     89% YES

How much writing have you done before?
32% - A LOT      29% - SOME      23% - A LITTLE      16% - NONE