For the past two days Canterbury has had two special guests on campus, and they have made quite an impression on students and faculty alike. Nationally acclaimed poets Sarah Kaye and Phil Kay from Project V.O.I.C.E. spent the two days inspiring everyone through their poetry, question and answer sessions and Spoken Word workshops.
The English Department was able to bring Project V.O.I.C.E. here due to the Special Focus funds for Reading and Writing at Canterbury, that were raised during the 2014 Laughing Cavalier. Thank you, again, to everyone who donated and made this incredible experience possible for the faculty and students in grades 2-12.
Project V.O.I.C.E. (Vocal Outreach Into Creative Expression) is based on three founding principles - entertainment, education and inspiration. The presenters focus on literacy, creative writing, public speaking, poetry, storytelling, performing arts, youth empowerment and collaborative learning.
Students received a lot of advice about brainstorming and creating stronger, more visual writing, whether it be for a poem, an essay or for a presentation. Sarah and Phil said it is important to capture those "Aha" or "Uh" moments jotting down key words in a notebook or even texting them to yourself throughout the day. (They were jotting notes about what students and faculty said that inspired them during the workshops.) Then when you go back to brainstorm about writing, you have a bread trail of anecdotes from which to select. Students also learned the difference between abstract concepts and sensory details. They practiced using their five senses to write more descriptively and to give more power to their words, especially the spoken word.
Phil and Sarah put the faculty to work during their Project V.O.I.C.E Spoken Word session. In this professional development opportunity, the teachers learned additional ways to use Spoken Word in their different fields of study and how to promote student creativity and buy-in for using the Spoken Word skills. The teachers did some of the same brainstorming, writing and performance exercises that the students experienced in their workshops.
To learn more about Project V.O.I.C.E. and its poets, visit www.projectvoice.co.