Creative writers give Albion 'hope'

No. 68 Friday, March 19, 2010
Close to 200 students of the Albion Primary and Junior High School in Montego Bay received reading materials and text books from members of the Creative Writers Club of the UWI, Mona­Western Jamaica Campus on Thursday March 11, 2010.

    The UWI students' visit came as part of their outreach project, 'Writers for Hope'. The books, which catered to grades three to eight, were donated with the kind assistance of the charitable organization Food for the Poor. The university students also donated their used primary-aged materials towards the project. The UWI­WJC students used the occasion to impart encouraging words to 35 grade seven students, most of whom were boys.
    In her message to the students, President of the Creative Writers Club, Denise Clarke pointed out the importance of reading and paying attention and stressed on the importance of speaking with confidence especially when introducing oneself to others. "One of the things you have to learn is to conduct yourself in a confident manner so that people want to listen to what you have to say," she said.
    Members of the club read short stories and poems that challenged the students' thinking and understanding. They encouraged feedback from the students and spoke about the importance of expressing oneself through writing and how enjoyable it can be. The poems and short stories were carefully selected so as to impart important life lessons.
    Grade Seven Coordinator, Gaye Thomas commended the Creative Writers Club for "placing such emphasis on the importance of reading." "Timing is critical as we have been having problems with students not wanting to read," she said. She mentioned that the school is in the process of doing literary work with students as "reading is a vital skill that can open many doors."
    Twelve year old Lorenzo Martin expressed gratitude to the members of the Creative Writers Club for the books donated but more so for the time spent interacting with him and the other students. "I learned that I must be confident," he said.
    When asked what his plans were for after graduation he responded "I want to go to university like my aunt."
    Albion Primary and Junior High School is located in the community of Albion and is about two miles out of the Montego Bay town centre.
    The Creative Writers Club was established in March 2009 out of a need to provide students with an avenue for literary expressions. In club meetings students are encouraged to share both original and adapted works with an audience that will offer feedback. Writers for Hope is the club's official outreach project.
    Last September, the Club donated more than 100 books to the school.

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