This past January, Alberta students were treated to a full-day writing workshop which focused on reading and writing fables. The workshop was organized by the Vision Resource Centres in Calgary and Edmonton and was run over two days – one day for students with low vision and one day for students who are blind. Local children’s author Shenaaz Nanji was on hand in Calgary for each of the morning sessions to share her extensive knowledge of the writing process; from gathering ideas and writing drafts, all the way through to becoming published. Attendees in Edmonton were able to participate in Nanji’s presentation via videoconference.
Both days of the workshop were a big success, with a total of 43 students attending in Calgary and 11 students attending in Edmonton. Following the author’s presentation in the morning, students were given the opportunity to engage in the writing process themselves. Students first read a variety of fables which allowed them to determine the key elements of this type of story. Afterwards, the students began collecting their ideas and writing their fables. At the end of the day, students in both Edmonton and Calgary were able to share their work with each other via videoconference. The students will be given a few more weeks to finish their stories and the final products will be printed and circulated for each of the participants to enjoy.
Collaboration between the Vision Resource Centres provides an opportunity for Alberta students with vision loss to connect with one another in a unique way. In fact, this is the second time that a literacy workshop has been run collaboratively in Alberta. Last year’s poetry workshop was run by the Vision Resource Centres in Lethbridge and Calgary and featured Canmore author Lori Nunn. To read more about last year’s workshop, click here.