Budding Writers at MOI

We've got some great young talent here at our after-school homework help program! Read one of our star writer's latest flash fictions inspired by this image:  

The Hamburger Protest

There was once a girl whose mom and dad liked hamburgers so much that she had them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Her and her brother, Alex, held a protest to stop eating burgers. They had money from their allowance to buy snacks from the store. Their parents worried that the kids would starve because they didn't like hamburgers so their parents changed the menu to pizza. You might know what happened next...

- Sahur, 10

Free Writing Workshops

Join Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute for two FREE Writing Workshops in December and January.

KID PRESIDENT: Create Your Own Country 

In this workshop, you'll get to create your own country from scratch. Want to make bedtime illegal and pizza free for everyone? Go ahead! As Leader Supreme, you call the shots in this world-building extravaganza.

Friday, December 12th, 3:30-5:00pm at the Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute (2388 University Ave W, Saint Paul)
Ages 7-12; parents welcome to stay!



"The Not-So-Bad Guys" Writing Workshop

What if the Big Bad Wolf just had a bad case of the allergies? And maybe Cinderella wasn’t so nice after all … just who was calling her stepsisters “ugly,” anyway? There are lots of “good guy” and “bad guy” pairings in stories we’ve all heard, and maybe the characters we thought were heroes haven’t been telling the whole truth. In this workshop, we’ll give villains the chance to share their side of the story!


Friday, January 23rd, 3:30-5:00pm at the Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute (2388 University Ave W, Saint Paul) Ages 8-12; parents welcome to stay!

Student Writing- Storytelling and Bookmaking Field Trip

EVIL vs. GOOD: The Story of the "SWAMPINATOR" by Ann Witte's Second Grade Class at Hoarce Mann 

Every Wednesday, MOI welcomes a different class to produce and publish a book in two hours. The entire class works together in large and small groups to create a unique story with interesting characters and a imaginative plot. At the end of the field trip, students are charged to write a unique ending to the story. Below you will find the story from Ann Witte's Second Grade Class. If you are interested in volunteering or booking a FREE field trip, please email Chad@moi-msp.org 

Once upon a time, in an age before computers, there existed GoldTown: a dazzling city filled with royalty and surrounded by a stone wall.

The city was extremely clean and shiny thanks to all the garbage collectors, and was filled with gilded palaces and towers that were so tall they touched the clouds.

One of the residents of GoldTown was Lady Blunderpants: a pretty, 10-year-old girl with dark green hair that sticks straight up, and who always wears a dress made of golden flowers.  She has stretchy arms, and can turn into animals, as well as change colors like a chameleon.  She was a detective whose main goal was to protect GoldTown, along with her best friend Jumbo Gumbo.

Jumbo was a humongous gorilla who always wore overalls.  Jumbo was mainly motivated by his desire for an endless supply of bananas; when too few were available he could create tantrums with the force of a tornado.

The two friends’ main job was to protect their city from the worst villain in town, Lord of the King of Romance.  This 86-year-old man with the skin of a crocodile wanted to turn the gorgeous GoldTown into a swap, because when he wasn’t in Marshland, he would slowly sink into the ground.  He also wanted a place where his robot crocodile minions could thrive



Lord of the King of Romance had come up with a plan to convert the city of GoldTown into one massive swap.  He had created a machine- part tractor, part truck, with a giant fire hydrant on the top that spewed out mucky water- called a Swampinator.  He hopped in his machine and began to drive it into GoldTown.

 Lady and Jumbo were sitting outside a coffee shop, when they suddenly leapt to their feet.  A huge rumbling noise was followed by the sight of Lord of the King of Romance cackling wildly in his Swampinator and his crocodile robots.  

  “Ready Jumbo?” Asked Lady.

  “Let’s do this.” He responded

Each student ends the story with his or her ending. 

This is Sarah's (second grade) ending:

Suddenly the coffee shop turned into a swamp pool and a tree! Then they charged! They threw ten alligators aside. The SWAMPINATOR aimed at Lady Blunderpants, then she turned invisible. "Where did she go?" yelled Lord of the King of Romance! SMASH! Half of the alligators flew towards the SWAMPINATOR! But it did not budge. Lady Blunderpants looked at one of the alligator's eyes. "They are explosive," she said. They threw threw the alligators into the SWAMPINATOR and everything stopped. THE END 


24 Hour Give to the Max Day Dance Party HAPPENING NOW

Join us for a 24 hour dance party at MOI (2388 University Ave W. Saint Paul) or watch us online




Local Twin Cities DJ, DJ FLIPSTYLE (Honey NE) will spin music at MOI's Headquarters for 24 hours straight. The DJ’s set will broadcast on webcam and guests are invited to attend the dance party in-person as well. Throughout the 24 hour broadcast, there are a number of "mini parties". These parties include Baby Dance, Jock Jams Lunch Break, Study Break with Somalia’s Dur Dur Band, Early Morning Yoga and Study Music. Attendees and viewers will be asked to donate money to request songs and musical genres.

This event is a fundraiser to support Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute's free after-school homework help, bookmaking and publishing field trips, in-school partnerships and writing workshops. Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute is in chapter development with Dave Eggers' 826 National.



12 AM Kick-off

1 AM Kick-Off Dance

2 AM Kick-Off Dance

3 AM House Music

4 AM House Music

5 AM Indie Electronic

6 AM  Pajama Dance Party

7 AM Wake Up Jams

8 AM Yoga Class

9 AM  Prince Coffee Hour

10 AM Hip/Hop Brunch

11 AM Baby/Toddler Dance

12 PM Jock Jams Lunch

1 PM Jock Jams Lunch

2 PM Hip Hop Part Two

3 PM Study Hour

4 PM Break with Dur Dur Band

5 PM Study Hour

6 PM Study Hour

7 PM Interpretive Dance

8 PM Robot Dance Party

9 PM  Surprise!

10 PM Dance Dance Evolution

11 PM Dance Dance Evolution











After-school homework help opens on 9/29

Got the beginning-of-school blues? Never fear! We re-open for FREE homework help on Monday, September 29th.

A few changes this school year: MOI will be open for homework help from 3:00 to 6:00PM as usual, but from 3:00 to 4:30PM will be high school drop-in time, while 4:30 to 6:00MP will be reserved for K-8 daily tutoring. 

If you want to register as either a student or as a tutor, email leah@moi-msp.org.

Student Poetry


So much depends upon

black woods cover

cover in gray foggy

besides the red rough cake 



So much depends upon golden sands

golden sands turn into mud

in a grassy field where crops grow.



So much depends upon 

the orange orange

the rain makes oranges rain

from the tall trees. 

Registration for summer programs

We celebrated the end of a stellar academic year of tutoring on May 21st, but you don't have to stay away from MOI for too long! Our doors will still be open as we offer a variety of summer programs:

  • We reopen for free homework help on Tuesdays in July
    • July 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th; 3:00-5:00pm
  • In August, we're holding our first-ever Summer Poetry Camp for English Language Learners. Register for free to learn English skills in a fun, literary environment:
    • August 4-8: Grades 6-11
    • August 11-15: Grades 1-5
    • Mon-Fri; 9am-12pm
  • We'll continue to offer creative writing workshops this summer, such as "Writing Slam and Poetry Jam" and "Journaling as Time Travel." Stay tuned for an announcement of the dates for these exciting workshops!

To register for any of these programs (as a student or as a volunteer,) just get in touch with us: call 612-367-7827 or email ariel@rockstarsupplyco.org.