• 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.
Western Area Young Writers
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From Western urban to Western rural: the Seli River Writing Project has become predominantly rural.

From October of 2009 through May of 2012,  Young Writers clubs were held at five schools in Freetown. Young Writers clubs offer an afterschool opportunity for junior secondary students to acquire the communication, writing and cultural awareness skills that have not been part of instruction in so many schools in Sierra Leone over the past several decades. However, these schools are all morning schools, so club space needs to be found to meet while the afternoon school is operating, and this struggle for space severely reduces the clubs' meeting times, and therefore the instructional effectiveness of the clubs.

Nearly all Freetown schools operate on the system of shared school compounds, where one school fully occupies the compound in the mornings and the next school, after a 15-minute gap, fully occupies it in the afternoons.

As of October, 2012, Young Writers clubs have begun in 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. All these schools are on the Freetown Peninsula.

SELI looks forward to beginning to visit these clubs. The SELI director makes from three to five visits to each of the five clubs. During these visits, the director participates as one of the club facilitators. Each teacher is given a copy of the follow-up report on each of the visits, with teachers' comments, and SELI's commendations and recommendations. In clubs that meet twice a week, and with students who attend regularly, both the students and facilitators noticed these changes:

· improved communication skills in English,

· improved thinking skills,

· a more integrated sense of self, and

· an increased self confidence in speaking English aloud.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 October 2012 16:35
 
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