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  Kids Can Write Newsletter brought to you by Janus Education and Experiences & Experiments  
Catherine says Hello

Dear Parents, Teachers and Valued Partners in Education

We’ve reached the first checkpoint of the year: the ending of the first term. Among the items checked off our list this year is the Young Author Awards (YAA) 2010/11, which we wrapped up last week. It was heartening to hear from our past winners how the awards have changed their lives, as we welcomed the new batch of YAA winners under our wing.

Other milestones this month include the release of Young Reader Club magazine’s Volume 6, which looks at redefining disability, and a partnership with Eyepower Games to take our upcoming DigiTales Award national! Read on to find out more.

~ Catherine Khoo

YAA 2010/11 Wraps Up

It has been a long journey for the 38 YAA nominees since they were announced last November 2010. As they waited for the final results to be announced, they reflected on the lessons they learnt along the way through the Project Dignity and I Care & Share Journal workshops. They knew they had a responsibility with their talents – to keep inspiring other youths while helping the community.

Mr. Ellison from Project Dignity teach YAA finalists how to sign.They heard speeches from the Mrs Michal Sarig-Kaduri, the Deputy Chief of Mission from the Embassy of Israel, as she spoke about possible creative collaborations with Israeli children and Mr Desmond Moey, Managing Director of Serendip Showbiz, as he spoke about using their stories as content for broadcasting. They also learnt about their fellow Young Author Scheme participant whose story, Helpful or Deadly? (published in Tales to Warm Your Heart) was adapted for the Okto Channel’s Super Duper Smartimizer.

Two past winners, Kendrick Lam and Pang Shi Hui, shared with our nominees about life after YAA and their experiences and attitudes towards writing now. Finally, after 20 Merit Awards and two Special Awards (Best Illustration, Most Heart-Felt Dedication) were given out, the top awards were announced.

Winning the top prizes for this year were the following: Emilyn Foong of Changkat Changi Secondary School, 3rd prize; Lee Tat Wei of Anglo-Chinese School (Primary), 2nd prize; and Tessa Tan of Methodist Girl’s School, 1st prize. YAA was also featured in omy Youth, Paper Tigers and Gathering Books.

View more pictures

Young Author Club (February) Session

The YAC Session had them at the edges of their seats.
This month's theme was on Character Construction. To start off the class, we talked about what made Characters who they were - physical traits and personality traits. We discussed physical traits in terms of our five senses; well, four really, since we're not expected to taste anyone! We looked at personality – things you can't see when you just use your eyes – and how this proves the saying "don't judge a book by its cover.” Sometimes, though, what we see can reveal what we're like inside; we share ideas regarding how our actions or physical traits might give away more than we'd like!

Next month, we'll be looking at Part 2 of this series - crafting realistic and believable characters! Bring along a pen, notebook and some of your old stories and we'll work it out together! See you on the 25th of March! The session will be held from 4 -5.30pm at the Everest Room (Level 4), Woodlands Regional Library. RSVP to!
Excerpts from our Past
Winners’ Speeches

“Writing is going to keep coming back to you. Even though, I have not written a book in so long, what do I do in school? What do I do when I write a report? I’m writing; words come out. Words from my heart come out, words from other people’s experiences that I have taken into consideration, they all come out. Writing is an experiential art form where you take what other people have input into your lives and you pour it into paper. “

– Kendrick Lam, 16

“Receiving this award doesn’t mean it is the end of your writing career. No, it doesn’t. It just motivates you to write better. I would like to thank Ms. Catherine Khoo for supporting me and guiding me through my story writing journey and giving me this golden opportunity...To everyone, to every child, seeing this happen to them at such a young age; it’s like a miracle, it’s really like a fairytale. “

Pang Shi Hui, 13

Special Announcements

The YAC Session had them at the edges of their seats.

Ng Hao Qin’s story aired on the OKTO Channel!
On 25 February 2011, an adaptation of Ng Hao Qin’s story, Helpful or Deadly, was aired on the Okto Channel under the name Super Duper Smartimizer. Hao Qin wrote his story six years ago when he was 11 years old. Published in our anthology series, Tales To Warm Your Heart, his story is about a boy who wants to get smart the easy way by using his Grandfather’s quick-fix invention. We were all very excited when his story was picked!

The YAC Session had them at the edges of their seats.
Janus Education partners with Eyepower Games for Digitales Award 2011
This year, Janus will be combining its DigiTales Award 2011 with EyePower Games' NewsMaker Annual Competition. Sharing the same mission of helping students improve their English language skills, especially in the area of oral and presentation skills in an easy and enjoyable way, this partnership is a step forward into expanding the DigiTales Award into a national competition. The DigiTales Award is an innovative competition providing Primary and Secondary school students the opportunity to unleash the writer, artist, storyteller and techie in them. Look out for more details on the DigiTales Award in the second half of 2011.

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