Bocas Lit Fest

English Literature students and teachers will soon have access to a digital course that focuses on Caribbean poetry and features local poets and literary experts. All interested schools and teachers can find out more and register to be a part of the Write Away! Poetry Series here.

Write Away! (Year Two) will roll out to schools in January 2022, and consists of a nine-part video series, e-workbook for students, writing workshops for students and the chance for some of them to have their poetry published in an online student showcase. We expect more than 600 secondary school students to engage with the digital learning resources, encouraging better performance in Language Arts subjects at CSEC level, and equipping all English Literature and Language teachers in secondary schools with digital teaching resources that supplement the curriculum.

The digital material will also be available via the Ministry of Education’s SLMS platform, where teachers can still access the 2020 (Year One) Write Away! materials. In 2020, fiction-writing was the focus and was incorporated into virtual classes, and continues to be used as a resource by teachers and students.

According to our founder Marina Salandy-Brown: “Teachers and students are facing enormous challenges and the aim is to offer something that helps keep students motivated and engaged in reading and writing activities, and to provide them with healthy tools for self-development through creative writing. The Write Away! material is fresh, culturally relevant and lively, and, most importantly, makes learning fun.”

Although independently developed by the Bocas Lit Fest and award-winning author Lisa Allen-Agostini, the material aligns with the secondary school English Language Arts curriculum and uses poems from the CSEC English B syllabus, throughout the video series. Zanifa Mohammed, curriculum co-ordinator (Ag), at the Ministry of Education’s Curriculum Planning and Development Division says teachers welcome year two of the project.

“The shift of focus to reading and writing poetry, through the guidance of indigenous instructional videos will encourage students to express emotions, improve self-confidence and demonstrate their creativity in writing poetry.”

Roxane De Freitas, chairperson of Scotiabank Foundation, which exclusively sponsors the project commented: “We are especially proud to renew our sponsorship for the 2nd annual Scotiabank Foundation Write Away! YA Literature project and our partnership with the Bocas Lit Fest, and are pleased that the initiative will be delivered through virtual, tailored resources and creative writing workshops, designed to build the capacity of educators to teach English Language and Literature classes online effectively. The Scotiabank Foundation is committed to funding programmes that will support our youth in achieving their full potential and become better off. We are delighted to work with the Bocas Lit Fest again this year to achieve this goal.”

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