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Kids Kabin Summer School

August 7, 2011

Had lots of fun this week as a project worker for New Writing North in partnership with Success 4 All who provide alternative ways of education for young people and encourage them to learn from each other.

My brief was to assist with the development and delivery of the young writers’ sessions during the Summer School held at Kids’ Kabin in Walker.  While I had expected a mixed age range (7-16yrs), I had not anticipated the breadth of cultural backgrounds within the group.  I now realise how cosmopolitan Newcastle is.

The young people were open, friendly and willing to engage in a variety ot arts, crafts, sports and cultural activities.  I collaborated with two other project workers to facilitate the sessions which evolved in response to the interests of the participants each day, as opposed to the demands of a set curriculum.  Drawing on resources prepared in advance, we were able to learn from each other in the moment.  By the end of the week, I had been introduced to the art of rapping and the craft of scriptwriting as the young people shared their knowledge with us as well as each other.

The most useful tool in my writing kit was the ‘Story Chest’, a cerise box of preprinted storylines/openers rolled into scrolls and fastened with coloured bands.  The young people were enthusiastic about dipping into this box and pulling out an idea.  They used these starting points to develop raps, scripts, poems, comic strips and short stories.

It was a pleasure to work in such a welcoming environment which incubated a positive atmosphere and fun for all.

To find out more about these organisations see; http://www.newwritingnorth.com, http://www.success4all.org.uk and http://www.kidskabin.org.uk

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