Saturday, April 23, 2011

St John Paul II NS and Fighting Words

A few weeks ago I went along to one of the Fighting Words morning sessions to cover it for the local freesheet. The paper aren't going to use the piece now so ye get the privilege of reading it here instead. Basically because I'm too lazy to think up something to be bloggin' about.

The Right to Write

Fighting Words, the creative writing organization founded by Roddy Doyle and Sean Love and based in Wexford’s Independent TD Mick Wallace’s building in Russell Square opposite Croke Park opened its doors two years ago. Fighting Words is based on the successful model of 826 Valencia co-founded by renowned American writer Dave Eggers in San Francisco. Fighting Words provides writing field trips for primary school children and writing workshops for secondary students and adults. Their purpose is to encourage the use of the written word in all its forms to improve communication and express creativity.

It was to this wonderful space that the children of Ms McMahon’s 4th class in St. JohnPaul II’s school in Malahide came on Wednesday March 16th. A lively morning ensued and the children with the aid of facilitator Anne, typist Caroline and illustrator Marie produced a fantastic story about Tom, a fish who was allergic to water and so was forced to survive by living in a hamster ball of soya milk. Assisted by his best friend, Snivel Bottom ( a horse with a pink mohawk), Tom decided to approach Jilly Billy a wizard scientist (who happened to be a dog) to help him overcome his allergy problems therefore enabling him reach his goal of becoming the best seafood critic EVER. Phew!

The children came up with brilliant idea after brilliant idea and the Fighting Words team (volunteers and permanent staff), the children’s teacher and classroom assistant were put to the pin of their collars to keep up with them. The future of the written word and the creative talent of North County Dublin is safe while we have these bright sparks about. The children’s work, which was published on the day by the crankiest editor in the whole Universe – or at least the twenty-six counties - Mrs McConkey can be viewed online at along with the work of many other national school classes throughout Fingal and the greater Dublin area. Teachers and individuals interested in booking a session in Fighting Words should contact the centre at info@fightingwords .ie or 01-894 4576. Be warned though, there is no charge for any of the services Fighting Words provide and sessions can book out quickly.

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