How you can help
If you feel inspired to encourage almost five
hundred primary school students in Melbourne's northern suburbs
develop their writing and creative thinking skills there are a number
of ways that you can become involved.
Donations received from:
The following businesses
and organizations have actively supported the writing passport program
by providing realistic inducements to encourage students to engage
and improve their writing and creative thinking skills. This support
is gratefully received and acknowledged.
Michele Pariza Wacek: Marketing
Safeway - Summerhill Village
Gabe Cyr Soul Food
Lois Daley Soul Food Patron
Viv Bibby Soul Food Patron
Dawn Mack former LaTrobe Staff
Belinda Parker LaTrobe Parent
Michele Pariza Wacek Soul Food
Profile of a Volunteer
Pariza Wacek, Soul Food's in-house copywriter and marketer and
find out more about creative marketing and copywriting.
Pariza Wacek began writing professionally in 1993 and launched
Creative Concepts and Copywriting,
a writing, marketing and creativity agency, in 1998. Going into
business was the best decision Michele ever made. She discovered
a passion for combining
her creativity with her writing ability and marketing knowledge
to help her clients grow their businesses. And she can teach you
to do the same.Discover her free
articles, exercises and resources at Writing USA.
Michele has been generously volunteering
her expertise and is supporting the development of this Writing
Primary Contact for more information.
Mrs Heather Blakey
The Writing Passport Program
La Trobe Secondary College Waiora Road,
Macleod West,3085 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Writing Passport Program
Children wearing their hopes, colouring their
wishes, naming and drawing their dreams. The Writing Passport Program
is an educational, non-profit incentive dedicated to fostering social
resilience and the healing effect of the creative arts.
Since 1999 LaTrobe
Secondary College has supported a program that has seen Mrs
Heather Blakey teaching in a number of primary school classrooms,
providing an innovative writing program that positively impacts
on literacy levels.
Students from Epping Primary,
Haig Street Primary, Olympic
Village Primary, Keon Park Primary,Preston
East Primary, Preston North
East Primary, Reservoir East Primary
School, Bellfield Primary and Kingsbury
Primary School have participated in a range of imaginative,
fun activities designed and presented by Heather Blakey. These activities
draw on a range of learning styles and introduce students to a variety
of writing genres which they will be expected to use frequently
during their education.
The Writing Passport Program helps students express
themselves freely and effectively unlocks creative potential. It
is based on the notion that there are simple devices, which stimulate
the imagination and induce a remarkable stream of writing from students
of all abilities. Indeed, staff have expressed delight after witnessing
students, who sometimes struggle with the writing process, gain
confidence in their ability to write.
The writing program debunks any beliefs that only
the talented can write. It makes writing accessible and provides
real reasons to communicate thoughts and feelings and to share stories.
It puts the fun back into the fundamentals of the craft and engages
everyone, teacher and student alike.
After each activity students write in silence
for ten minutes, monitor change from the previous week and are stunned
to see how much quality writing they can produce in such a short
Both students and the class teacher read what
they have written and students are delighted to see their teacher
wrestle with the same task. Positive feedback builds self-confidence
and students experience a flush of success. At the conclusion of
the session they discuss the 'secret' techniques and identify what
worked especially well for them. They are encouraged to use the
techniques again, to see if the 'magic' endures and to make it a
part of their writing practice.
Two highly successful projects were the Hiss-tory
Snake and Rear
Vision Mirror projects which led to students doing personal
writing which could be taken with them to secondary school. Indeed,
all the activities are designed to show students that the tasks
often remain the same and that it is only the skill level which
changes. Primary School students can view Year 12 students working
on similar tasks in virtual workbooks.
They are intrigued and encouraged to find that those students are
employing similar techniques in their final year of schooling.
There are numerous benefits associated with the
writing program. Apart from the obvious benefit of learning strategies
which can be employed in secondary school, students engage in a
publishing process at The Soul
Food Cafe, the website that was built as a resource for writers
of all ages. Students can become a part of a vibrant, supportive
writing community. They can participate in Cafe writing
forums and have the opportunity to establish a virtual writing
folio to display their work.
Another bonus is that The Soul Food Cafe is patronised
writers and artists who are actively involved in the site and
have used some of the some of the same techniques to provide stimulation
for their writing and artwork. This demonstrates that the techniques
used in these sessions are applicable to all, from the young student
to the professional artist.
At the conclusion of the program students receive
a 'passport' that identifies them as having gained citizenship.
Their passport states that they may identify themselves as a writer.
So all aboard! Clamber aboard the zany Writing
Tram , sample just a little of the magic that is so much a part
of this vibrant program and receive your writing passport. '
Spark by Heather Blakey sheds further light on the philosophy
behind the Writing Passport Program.