Sacramento Area Youth Speaks (SAYS) is a social justice movement that transforms education. Founded in 2008 at UC Davis by Dr. Vajra Watson, SAYS breaks the barriers of underachievement by elevating the voices of students as the authors of their own lives and agents of change.
Our Guiding Principles
Young people have the potential to be the authors of their own lives and agents of change. At SAYS, we activate young people to read, write, and speak about their lives through the medium of spoken word performance poetry. Through this unique process, literacy and leadership go hand-in-hand as young people pick up the mic and the pen.
We support the whole classroom so that each person excels socially, culturally, emotionally and academically. We know that just as the best teaching empowers students, the best professional development empowers teachers. SAYS offers innovative professional development for staff that is culturally relevant and hands-on. Teachers gain important skills that will help them bring community-based literacies into the curriculum in critical ways.
SAYS engages in a wrap-around mentoring model that supports the success of the whole family. We specialize in helping adults navigate the school system, providing them with effective strategies to advocate and support the academic and lifelong health of their children.