ForWords provides literacy programs for low-income, under-served students in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, many of whom are English language learners.



ForWords provides instruction and resources to help students develop the ability to write, speak, and read effectively and publish their work in print, video and digital media.

ForWords works with students to foster self-awareness, confidence, personal voice and pride in community and culture.

ForWords provides professional development for teachers and direct assistance to our students by partnering with the Bay Area Writing Project at the University of California, Berkeley and is staffed and advised by an exceptional community of writers, educators, artists and digital media experts.


ForWords believes that every student should have the chance to accomplish his or her dreams, to go to college and to be fully and effectively employed. ForWords believes that students, particularly those who live in under-resourced communities, deserve educational opportunities to match their drive, intelligence and hopes so they can become proud and accomplished members of our democracy.


ForWords will become a leading source of rich and engaging programs for under-served youth by providing opportunities for self-expression through writing, speaking, technology and the arts.



ForWords was inspired by the life of Catie Siegel, a young woman who loved reading and writing and appreciated the extraordinary ethnic, cultural and intellectual diversity of our Northern California communities. Catie was kind and open-hearted, and, in that, gently self-possessed. In the last years of her life she worked at Borders Books, where she could always be found among the words and ideas she so valued. She was discovering, as well, her own voice and strength of character in the poetry and fiction she had begun to put to page. ForWords began as a tribute to Catie, but more importantly it has evolved as a means of opening for other students the world of writing, thought and art, that she had set-out to explore.