• We all have the right to write. Anything we can say, we can write.
  • We all can write well if we are emotionally involved in our topic and our purpose. We find our voices there. Writing is learning and discovering. It develops best in real-life situations, with the instructor intervening in the writing process.
  • We learn to read by having written. We learn from our experiences, including experiences with oral and written texts. We should expose ourselves to many texts, and often do free-choice reading.
  • We learn best in collaborative, diverse, and supportive communities. We all learn in our own ways, and our home cultures affect how we interpret our experiences.
  • Moving through the writing process can produce powerful writing. We gain more ownership over our writing if we master the writing process.
  • Writing is a strong tool for developing critical thinking. Challenging our thinking as we write in collaborative settings, develops academic language proficiency.
  • We teach equitably:  not less, but more to the poor. We recognize our children's home communities and ancestral cultures as our educational partners.
Leading Young Writers
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SELI trains teachers to operate Young Writers process-writing clubs. This training consists of forty hours of professional development in the areas of the theory of writing, how to run process-writing clubs, and process writing experience. Teachers also learn instructional strategies they can use to teach writing in their regular classrooms. Many educationists hold that writing is best taught by teachers who write, and SELI visits all the clubs during the year not only to mentor their facilitating of Young Writers clubs, but also to help sustain the teachers' personal progress as authors.

The first professional development to train facilitators to run Young Writers clubs (Leading Young Writers I ) began with a workshop for ten teachers at the SELI facility during August and September of 2009. The resulting Young Writers clubs added the Freetown Secondary School for Girls JSS, Albert Academy JSS, UMC Secondary School, Government Rokel JSS, and Government Model JSS to the original club at Services JSS in Wilberforce. Unfortunately, SELI found it necessary to close the urban clubs at the end of the 2011-2012 school year because of the difficulty of maintaining a space and time for the clubs to function in situations where two schools share one compound.

In August 2010, SELI conducted a second Leading Young Writers workshop with ten JSS teachers in the Kabala area. The Kabala-area teachers are facilitating process-writing Young Writers clubs in three of the four schools: Kabala Secondary School JSS, Dankawalie Secondary School, and Ahmadiyya Muslim Agricultural Secondary School.

With the support of the Ministry of Education in the Western Rural Area, SELI conducted a third Leading Young Writers workshop in Goderich in August 2012 for teachers from four schools: the Goderich Comprehensive JSS and the Lady Patricia Kabba Memorial JSS in Goderich, the Sengbeh Pieh JSS in Hamilton, and the Sussex JSS in Sussex.  We were very glad that two teachers from Dankawalie Secondary School in Dankawalie in the Koinadugu District also attended this training to replace the two facilitators who had left the school.

Partly because of a principal's request that SELI broaden its SRWP to included creative-writing senior secondary clubs, a fourth Leading Young Writers training was held at the Ahmadiyya MA Secondary School in Kabala for ten teachers. One will join the facilitator operating the club at KSS JSS, another will help to revive a lapsed club at Loma JSS, two more will start up a new club at Heritage United Methodist High School, and the other six will open senior secondary clubs at KSS, Loma SS, and Ahmadiyya MASS.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 September 2013 14:37
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