The CANSCAIP SK Horizons meeting was held April 22, 2010, at Houston Pizza in Regina. The purpose was a discussion of the World Book Day event that had to be cancelled/rescheduled in Regina, and how/whether to proceed, as well as to discuss the proposed WordPress Workshop that would be provided free to CANSCAIP members in Regina and virtually.
Members present: Linda Aksomitis, Jean Freeman, Glenda Goertzen, Alison Lohans, Anne Patton, Judith Silverthorne, Sharon Plumb Hamilton, and Maureen Ulrich.
Linda Aksomitis chaired the meeting. She read the following from one of the key stakeholders in the 2009 World Book Day event that was solicited after we received such a low number of responses to our advertising for this year’s event: Feedback from teachers who attended last year’s event indicates that the large group venue was not conducive to student learning. Travel time was also an issue; almost a half-day was required in order to get to and from the venue and attend the event. Teachers prefer school-based author presentations/workshops that target smaller groups and which address specific educational outcomes.
In an effort to address these concerns and come up with a proposal that fell within the parameters of the grant we have already received from the Arts Board (audience was to be teachers/students, and the prior year’s audience of 1800 students was provided as a goal for audience), we have a skeleton plan for a program that will include both in-person and virtual classrooms across the province. We are tentatively looking at Family Literacy Day in January as the date: http://www.abclifeliteracy.ca/en/family-literacy-day
This the outline we’ll be starting with. All authors who had previously expressed an interest in participating will be contacted and given the first opportunity to continue with the planning/set-up, as this model requires that all participants share in preparation. We’ll be holding virtual planning meetings using Skype once participants are confirmed.
1. Each writer originally scheduled to participate in World Book Day will set up a local (to them) individual classroom visit (likely with the budget it will be 2 different schools, as we’ll be able to do 2 each since we won’t have travelling expenses to pay out, so it will be just author fees with our $5000).
2. The visits will focus on one of the author’s works (generally requiring that previous to the visit the classroom group read/share the book), but be delivered in a 40 minute workshop format. (Our experience/research indicates teachers are “hungry” for tips on the writing process and helping kids get started writing — so I might offer the workshop on writing rhyming poetry to go with the new SK ABC book I’ll have out by then, and incorporate the content with social studies as kids study Saskatchewan at various levels through grades 1-5).
3. The in-person author visit will be hooked to a variety of virtual schools via Skype. These schools will have received the same package outlining the workshop as the in-person school, so will include the pre-reading activities, instructions for the day and the follow-up activities, so they can participate virtually (maybe each school can also ask a question/etc at appropriate points in the workshop). At a rough estimate of having 24 presentations with 1 in-person and 4 virtual groups, this will target 2400 students across the province.
Two motions were passed before the closure of the meeting:
Anne Patton moved we pay expenses (including presenter fees and room rental) to provide an in-person/virtual workshop free of charge to CANSCAIP SK Horizons members on using WordPress. Seconded by Alison Lohans. All in favour.
Alison Lohans moved we pay mileage and meeting room expenses for the in-person meeting held in Regina on April 22, 2010. Seconded by Sharon Plumb Hamilton. All in favour.
Linda moved the meeting be adjourned at 6:20 p.m.