The Young Authors’ Mentorship Camp Ends with The Young Writers’ Awards

The Young Authors’ Mentorship Camp 2018, in collaboration with Corona Schools’ Trust Council and The Pottersland School, Lekki, commenced on Saturday, the 21st of July, 2018, beginning with the writing level assessment conducted for children ages 5-12 years at the Corona School Ikoyi campsite, the first campsite for the YAMC 2018. The programme ran across Lagos in four different schools with a total number of 74 young writers enrolled.

Resumption of the full camp activities commenced on Monday, 23rd of July at Corona School Ikoyi, and thereafter at three other campsites; Corona School Gbagada (Monday 6th-Friday -17th August, 2018), and concurrently at Corona School Lekki and The Pottersland School, Lekki (Monday 20th – Friday 31st August, 2018). At the start of the writing programme, the children had the pleasure of having Mrs. Onafeso, Head of School, Corona School Ikoyi welcome the children. The aim of the programme was to get children to become better writers and be excited about writing.

Beyond writing, Jordan Hill put together a range of engaging activities from board games, like Monopoly, Scrabble and Chess to physical and mentally stimulating games like; the charade game, treasure hunt and action games. These activities added fun to the whole writing session, making it a pleasurable endeavor for the children.

The Jordan Hill Writing Mentors put the children through an intensive process of writing and storytelling, teaching them the key elements of a good story and also how to use the right tools to make learning to write easy, exciting and lifelong. The children were mentored through creating their own story ideas and illustrations as stories are a great medium for children to express and educate themselves, and the use of illustration in books helps with the children’s comprehension of the settings and characters in a story, while painting of drawn images to form colourful pictures help children learn and understand the world around them. These are very important aspects of any children’s book, and children learning these at the YAMC 2018 was key to us.

All the children enrolled had the opportunity of meeting Mr. Bayode Treasures-Olawunmi, Guinness World Record holder for the Longest Read-aloud Marathon. In each of his session with the children, he talked passionately about the values of developing a good reading culture which impact on writing in no small measure. Mrs. Taiwo Babawale, journalist, oral English and communication expert and trainer, spent time with the children sharing with them how they can use the figures of speech like similes, metaphors and personifications to make their writing pieces rich. Our young authors under the Jordan Hill Butterfly Series imprint, 10-year-old Oluwademilade Fagbayi, author of ‘The Mischievous Old Woman’ and her brother, 8-year-old Oluwadarasimi Fagbayi, author of ‘Max the Footballer’ came and shared the message of their books with the children with a focus on perseverance, service and resilience. Bolaoluwa Nerat Asaolu, our beautiful and young author of ‘The Lion Comes to Town’ also joined the children for a book reading and signing session during the course of the programme.

During the writing programme, the children were groomed to talk about their favourite books in order to enhance their speaking and presentation skills. Parents and guardians had the opportunity to have a glimpse of what the children did at their various camp sites on the last day of camp at the Parents’ Meet session, comparing what they were able to do before the camp and what they could do at the end of the writing programme. Activities at the camp ended with a Book Party and exchange of book gifts at the last day of the camp in each school, providing a memorable way to round off the programme.

The YAMC 2018 finally came to an end with the Jordan Hill 2018 Young Writers’ Awards, which came up last Saturday, 8th September, 2018 at the school hall of Corona School Ikoyi, after the six-week mentorship camp, in what the Managing Director at Jordan Hill, Mr. Kennedy Eze said in his welcome address to be “A celebration of great young writing talents, a celebration of children who are the future generation of world changers.” The event had in attendance, the Chief Executive Officer, Corona Schools’ Trust Council, Mrs. Adeyoyin Adesina as the Guest of Honour, Mrs. Dafeta, Educational Director, Corona Schools’ Trust Council as a guest speaker and also Mrs. Nike Onafeso, Head of School, Corona School Ikoyi. Three young writers emerged as the Best Story Writers in the three different categories with the offer of a publishing contract under the Jordan Hill Butterfly Series. For the Junior Category (ages 5 -6), five-year-old Oluwakanyinsola Afolayan of Temple Palms School, Mende, Maryland came out as the recipient of the award while Nola Metseagharun, a nine-year-old pupil of Corona School Lekki came out as the award winner for the Intermediate Category (ages 7 -9) and Oluwatofunmi Lawal, ten years old, and a student of Corona School Gbagada clinched the award for Best Story Writer at the Senior Category (ages 10 -12). Twenty children were also awarded for Good Writing Skills and would have their stories published in a collection of short stories under the Jordan Hill Butterfly Series. The Jordan Hill 2018 Young Writers’ Awards did not just acknowledge writing success, according to the Educational Director at Jordan Hill, “The awards also recognised many other qualities in the children: ability, struggle and effort, knowing that true success comes from determination, effort, persistence, and a strife for excellence.”

Jordan Hill launched two new books at the Awards. ‘Night’, written by 8-year old Jeremy Ojochugbo Essienete, a member of the Jordan Hill / Young Authors’ Club in his school, Rosemore House International School, Lekki, Lagos, was launched at the event. ‘Night’ which was illustrated by Henry Ezeokeke is a collection of poems that features different forms of poetry that will appeal to children; limericks, colour poems, acrostic poems, Haiku, lyrics and a couple of others with a rich blend of figures of speech. The Educational Director also used the opportunity of the event to launch her second book, ‘One, Beautiful, Sunny and Bright Morning…’ a writing guide to help children develop their writing skills in the prose narrative genre. The book is poised to enhance children’s skills in reading, writing, vocabulary, language arts and speaking. It is appropriate for primary school aged children.

It was a memorable event and the parents were quite thrilled with the objectives achieved over such a short period, reveling at the impact of the programme on their children. “I am really impressed with the progress that Nemi has made in his writing. I see that he has come alive and I look forward to seeing more of his writings in future. Well done, Jordan Hill!“ Mrs. Sola Oguche – Agudah, a happy mother enthused.

“Thank you so much for the time and dedication in creating this programme. Iheoma has indeed gained a lot. It should run much longer to ensure lessons that will last.” Mrs. Nwagbara suggested.

Mr. Chris Kitua-Okochu also added “Let me use this opportunity to thank you for the impactful summer holiday sessions you had with our children and you have in no small way rekindled the habit of reading and writing in our lives. You have also, by the gathering for the Awards, reinforced our hope that the future of our children is indeed very bright despite the twists and turns of these desperate times. We will continue to play our roles as parents the best way we can, while leaning on the author of life to crown our efforts with energizing success.” The presentations by the participants of the writing programme and the rendition of ‘The Nigeria of My Dream’ by Mojoyinoluwa Adeshina added colour to the Young Writers’ Awards.

The Jordan Hill team deeply appreciates everyone that has contributed to the success of this programme, directly and indirectly. We thank the Corona Schools’ Trust Council, The Pottersland School, parents and children for the opportunity to share our vision and a memorable summer holiday with them as we continue to plant seeds of writing through our various programmes with schools and at our center in building a community of better writers.

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