Fes­ti­val of Words Wine fundraiser will help bring au­thors to schools

Moose Jaw Express.com - - News -

The Saskatchewan Fes­ti­val of Words’ Writ­ers In Schools pro­gram has been a big suc­cess.

As they pre­pare to bring an­other Cana­dian au­thor into lo­cal schools, the de­mand for the pro­gram is grow­ing by leaps and bounds. To help the pro­gram con­tinue to grow with the de­mand, the Saskatchewan Fes­ti­val of Words will be host­ing the Sur­pris­ingly Un­ex­pected: A Wine, Culi­nary and Mu­sic Ex­pe­ri­ence. Their third an­nual wine night fundraiser will be held on Fri­day, Nov. 16, start­ing at 7 p.m. at Saskatchewan Polytech­nic. “This year we had about 30 schools con­tact us about par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pro­gram,” said Amanda Far­nel, op­er­a­tions co­or­di­na­tor for the Saskatchewan Fes­ti­val of Words. “That’s, by far, more than we had last year. So, it is a quickly-grow­ing pro­gram.

“We bring in a pro­fes­sional au­thor into as many schools as pos­si­ble in a week,” Far­nel added. “We get the stu­dents en­cour­aged about writ­ing and read­ing. We do part­ner­ships with the Holy Trinity Catholic School Divi­sion and the Prairie South School Divi­sion. This year we’re do­ing a part­ner­ship with a home-school­ing group, which is ex­cit­ing.” Au­thor Penny Draper from Vic­to­ria will be the au­thor that comes into lo­cal schools this year. She has ex­pe­ri­ence as an oral sto­ry­teller and has done a lot of work vis­it­ing class­rooms. Draper writes largely for and about young peo­ple and tries to tell the “story be­hind the story,” dur­ing her book talks at schools to teach stu­dents more about the writ­ing process and what an au­thor’s life is like. Draper will be mak­ing her school stops in the last week of Novem­ber. “There are a lot of costs built in with bring­ing an au­thor in,” Far­nel ex­plained. “We usu­ally bring some­one in from out of province. So, we have flights and costs for ac­com­mo­da­tions and then travel to all of th­ese places. This year we’re go­ing to be head­ing down to Coronach and Shau­navon. It adds up.”

The pro­gram could ex­tend fur­ther afield in the province if they were able to bring in more fund­ing and an­other au­thor dur­ing the year. The Fes­ti­val is hop­ing that their wine night fundraiser will help bring that goal closer to fruition. “We’ve been talk­ing about want­ing to try to have a sec­ond week go­ing for a long time now be­cause we have so much in­ter­est that we can’t fit all of the classes in that we would like to go to,” Far­nel said. “Right now, we’re do­ing about 20 pre­sen­ta­tions dur­ing the week that we’re here and usu­ally it’s about 2,000 kids a year that we reach.” This year’s wine night will fea­ture a five-course meal with a wine pair­ing with each course. The Matt Kaip Jazz Duo will be the fea­tured mu­si­cal guests. The event will also fea­ture a si­lent auc­tion and a raf­fle.

Tick­ets for the event are $60 and come with a $30 char­i­ta­ble tax re­ceipt. Cor­po­rate ta­bles of six are avail­able for $330. Tick­ets are avail­able at the Fes­ti­val of Words of­fice at the Moose Jaw Cul­tural Cen­tre or on­line at www.fes­ti­val­of­words.com.

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