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Friday, January 30, 2015


Felicity Keats, the founder of Dancing Pencils, is a lady with a vision for the learners of South African schools. She is passionate about helping rural children write stories which can all be combined into a reader for their school.

In teaching a group of children to write, a whole group of children become readers because they know one of the authors. Their interest in the story increases and so does a love for reading. She has also been involved in a prisoner rehabilitation programme. Many excellent books have been written by these men.

Dancing Pencils is the umbrella under which the writing clubs exist. The "lessons" the learners receive help to harness the right brain – the imaginative side of the brain. Mentors are trained and once they are ready they will open up a club.

The budding authors attend meetings and embark right away on producing written material. Whatever the learner writes is not judged or marked – a system which unfortunately is not prevalent in modern day education. Nothing (at an initial level) is corrected. If the story is going to be included in a club anthology it is edited and type set. But the voice of the child is left alone as far as possible.

Dancing Pencils run two of their workshops in the Bat Centre. Detlev Diegel runs classes by appointment (they don't pay but keep their money towards editing their stories and the cost of the anthology).  Veena Gangaram takes the children's' class who meet every Saturday and pay a fee to help cover expenses.

The walk and marathon class session is the initiative of the BAT Centre in a drive to draw more people into being able to write. There will be a short walk starting on the Esplanade side of the railway line. They will cross the train line by the boom and walk on through to the BAT Centre.  (Medical staff will be accompanying the walkers). BAT Centre personnel will be involved in the logistics of the exercise. Once recovered they will do the writing marathon under the guidance of one of the Dancing Pencils mentors

The Workshop will take place on February 7 from 13h30 to 15h00 and entrance is free. To book your place contact 031 332 0451.