News day reporter
Write Away!, the high school creative writing project produced by Bocas Lit Fest and sponsored by the Scotiabank Foundation is making its mark with students, teachers and the Department of Education.
Writing away! The Young Adult Literature Project, now in its second year, provides students with an invaluable learning tool via a series of dynamic videos that in year one (2021) explained the inner workings of fiction and, in 2022, focused on poetry.
These are essential elements of the CSEC English B curriculum, and the fun videos reference some of the key texts while helping students understand the fundamentals of the literary genres that are part of the secondary school English curriculum, according to a press release.
Education Minister Dr. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly received a small box containing the unique digital learning tools for English Literature students from Bocas Lit Fest President Marina Salandy-Brown and Stephan Lalonde from Scotiabank at the Ministry of Education on June 24.
All educators have free access to new digital educational resources through the Ministry of Education’s School Learning Management System (SLMS). This year, Write Away! The project includes a series of nine-part video workshops and a PDF workbook for students and is accompanied by support materials for teachers.
Over 80 percent of participating teachers reported that their students were more engaged in discussions and lessons thanks to Write Away! Poetry series, and more confident to read aloud and write their own poetry in class, according to the statement.
Independently developed by Bocas Lit Fest and award-winning author Lisa Allen-Agostini, who was recently shortlisted for the coveted Women’s Literature Award, Write Away! Poetry Series uses dynamic animated graphics and dramatic readings to keep students engaged. Lessons are delivered with humor and energy by 2022 video hosts Darrion M Narine and Alexandria Douglas, who are both poets themselves and are passionate about helping other young people embrace the art form, says the press release.
The videos aim to make classic Caribbean poetry more relevant to young contemporaries, encourage better performance in language arts subjects at the CSEC level, and equip all English Literature and Language teachers with engaging digital teaching resources. that complete the program.
Over 50 TT high schools have already used the series for the 2021-2022 school year. As the first participants in the project, these schools received the pre-recorded digital resources available to all schools through the SLMS, but their students were also invited to participate in writing workshops with the Bocas Lit Fest via Zoom and submit original poems for publication. on the Bocas Lit Fest website https://www.bocaslitfest.com/youth/write-away/.
In the statement, Bocas Lit Fest founder Marina Salandy-Brown said, “There is an inspiring showcase of poetry by talented young writers, ages 12 to 18, from schools across the country. These poems explore a range of emotions, subjects and styles, showing how valuable poetry and language can be as tools for self-expression and reflection in personal development.
Commenting on the project, Scotiabank President Roxane De Freitas said: “Our priority right now is to help children succeed in their education as a means of economic resilience in adulthood. This project gives them the tools to get the most out of their studies and will eventually pay dividends. »
Teachers surveyed said they would continue to use Write Away! Poetry series in their classroom for years to come – one of the many benefits of having the material in an easily accessible digital format.
Allen-Agostini, who led the fiction workshops that broke down the basics of creative writing, said: “We know how important literature is and how vital it is for young people to see themselves in the books and poems they read and study.
“I hope these Write Away! video lessons on how to read and write fiction and poetry are accessible and fun in their language and approach so that the teens they are written for can not only their CSEC Literature exams, but go to really enjoy literature and its benefits – building their empathy, improving their communication skills, and maybe even encouraging them to engage in art.
Gadbsy-Dolly praised Lit Fest and also said that the corporate citizenship funding signals to students that people are interested in their future.
“As we consider the reality in our schools and what has been the reality for many years … covid has made us put on masks, but it has unmasked some very real truths about our society,” Gadbsy-Dolly said. .
“While we grapple with the difficulties our children face and how they find it difficult to express that difficulty, we are looking at other avenues and how we can all contribute to ensuring that they can express their challenges and difficulties in a way that does not lead to violence.
“Certainly projects like these initiatives like these funded by corporate citizens really help to show our children that there are different ways around their challenges and that there are different people who care about their coming. To say that our children means a parcel.”
She praised Bocas Lift Fest for “doing a great job over the years and said she was ‘very proud of this product.’