"…Using the Poetry to send a message to the youths and help as a coping mechanism," was just one of the benefits noted by participants of a recent Poetry in the Classroom workshop for teachers. The workshop, part of a series of activities jointly held by Idakeda and the National Aids Coordinating Committee (NACC), was entitled ‘Poetry, the Arts and Social Issues: Relevance and Implementation'. The session was conceptualised and facilitated by former Poet Laureate of Port of Spain Eintou Pearl Springer, with support by Communications Consultant Dara E. Healy.
The workshop served as a continuation to the very successful National Poetry Festival held in March of this year in conjunction with the NACC and the Circle of Poets. As part of the Festival, representatives of Idakeda and the Circle travelled to a number of venues across Trinidad and Tobago using Poetry and the Spoken Word to communicate the Festival theme "Defying the Disease through the Power of the Word: Resisting Stigma and Discrimination".
The session for the teachers expanded on this theme, and explored the value of poetry and plays written in verse as powerful catalysts to the transformation of our young people. Teachers were introduced to a wealth of local and Caribbean wide material, many of them for the first time. Additionally, teachers were given practical advice about implementing the information in live classroom situations with information based on Idakeda-originated techniques and strategies.
The teachers who attended from a wide range of schools across the country, including South, East and the Morvant/Laventille area, have all stressed the importance of continuing these sessions.
We wish to give special thanks to the management and staff of NALIS, who opened their facilities to us and made every effort to ensure that we were comfortable. Additionally, we acknowledge with much gratitude the continued support of the NACC whose sponsorship made possible this latest intervention.
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