Nurturing a new crop of creative writers is but one of the objectives of the National Cultural Foundation’s (NCF’s) Cultural Development Literary Arts Desk and for the last few years, through programmes like its Writers In Schools & Education (WISE), it has been able to execute that goal.
WISE, a sixty-hour creative writing residency embedding authors/tutors in the Language Arts and Literature classes of schools, received a much needed boost with support from The Maria Holder Memorial Trust.
The Trust, founded in 2007 in the memory of the late Maria Holder, works with established programmes operated by government and registered NGO’s or charities and its primary focus mirrors that of the NCF’s Literary Arts programmes with a dedication to enhancing education and advancing the cultural and artistic expression of young people.
Recognising an affinity to its own objectives, the management of the Trust acceded without hesitation to supporting the WISE workshops and Cultural Officer for Literary Arts, Mrs. Ayesha Gibson-Gill thanked them for their gracious contribution to the development of the literary landscape with the injection of a fully funded grant for the programme.
The Junior Creative Writing Camp (WISE Jr. Camp) led by award winning, experienced creative writing tutors Linda M Deane and DJ Simmons nourished the minds of the future literary artists. While the WISE Teacher Training session, under the tutelage of experts Celeste St. Hill and Nailah Imoja, allowed educators to put the techniques and knowledge gained into practice expeditiously.
Speaking on the success of the workshops, Mrs. Gibson-Gill noted that the participants in the Teacher Training Workshop expressed their satisfaction and are prepared to recommend it to their colleagues. She also added that both workshops provided the stimuli for the marked improvements in the NIFCA literary entries, along with other creative writing and performance endeavours.
Members of The Maria Holder Memorial Trust recently visited the NCF to make a presentation of the certificates of completion to the graduates of the WISE Teacher Training Workshop.