Writing Workshop in Our Texas Chapter

By: Alpana Deo

Profile pic for E&EI am Alpana Deo – wife,mom & person behind Mothers Gurukul. I am a freelance writer for few other websites and NRI Contributor & Citizen Journalist for Times of India. After finishing up my studies & then working in India for sometime, I came to the USA 9 years ago. During this span, I got to know American culture very closely. With a desire to stay connected to my educational background & Hobby of writing, I put together my website www.mothersgurukul.com – a place not only for moms but for all the parents who’re trying to raise their kids in two very rich but totally different cultures. I believe that every child is special and unique. And we, as parent, can do a lot in nurturing them and bringing out their talents and at the same time passing on our cultural values to them. So, join me on my journey.

For all of us, date means candle light dinner, light music, roses and cake. Isn’t? But last week I discovered a new definition for a Date. My date was with some young and talented budding writers. Sometimes, you don’t need any special occasion to make your day special. Even a small gesture of giving and sharing can make your day special and memorable. And if it is something related to children when you get to spend a quality time with them sharing what you are passionate about, it’s more than enough for me. I exactly had the same experience couple of days ago. I got to spend two hours with Elementary, Middle and High School kids sharing my writing experience with them. To me it was like a date with budding writers. Today kids are smart enough. They need a very little guidance to go a long way.

This workshop was conducted as one of the activities for a NPO- Empower And Excel. Empower And Excel is an Organization which provides support and services to under-privileged communities. Their mission is to empower the youth & children to give back to the community early in life by serving under-privileged through volunteer services. Few months ago, Co-founder & Vice-President of Empower and Excel contacted me for this workshop. Since it was something related to writing, how I would say no? This was my first writing workshop that I had conducted. I shared whatever I have learned so far in writing/blogging journey. I told them the do’s and don’ts of writing.  All the kids brought their write-ups for review. Even though this workshop was for little older kids but few young ones also showed their interest and came prepared with their pieces. One 6 years old boy wrote, “I like these volunteering activities as we get to eat snacks and drink juice.” How honest right? Others also did a wonderful job.

While doing this workshop, I felt that kids of any age have a lot going on in their mind. Sometimes, they don’t know how to express themselves. Writing can be an effective medium for that expression. Two write-ups which impressed me the most were written by middle and high school kids. I am sharing few of the lines from their write-ups. Iniya, 13 year old, says “Pangs of hunger make your stomach throb, as starvation and thirst batter for dominance. One doesn’t need to visit Somalia to view the furry of famine and vagrancy consuming the population. Volunteering helps my community and me by demolishing social problems like hunger and homelessness on small scale.” She has written the ‘Why April Fool’s Day is a Great Excuse to Laugh post’. It was good to see her again at the workshop and read her writing piece.

Divij, a 14 year old boy, while explaining his experience in Community Gardening activity says, “This type of activity not only benefits the community, but also helps in building an experience for us, the generation obsessed with gadgets such as phones & i-pads. It is nice to come out of out of your comfort zone &try something new which can help others too.”