Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Writing Olympics

Hey, everybody. I'm again posting an advertisement for a Peace Corps project, but this is also one I really support and appreciate. It's called the Writing Olympics.

In a nutshell, the Writing Olympics is an annual English writing competition for high school and university students throughout the Caucasus. It allows young people to express themselves freely and creatively. In our experiences in the Azerbaijani schools, we can't help but notice a lack of opportunity for personal expression. So much emphasis is put on memorizing the facts for university entrance exams that things like creative writing are often overlooked. For this reason, it's always a pleasure to meet and see Azerbaijani students being creative in any way.

Every year, volunteers at their own schools and organizations arrange the time and place for students to write on a few given topics. Their entries are then submitted, and the more exceptional essays move on to greater, international competitions.

The Writing Olympics has been going on here for years, and it's volunteer leaders in Azerbaijan are trying to expand it, particularly by recognizing the award winners. Peace Corps is going to invite these students for a ceremony in which they'll receive books, dictionaries, certificates, and more, and guest speakers from Peace Corps, AccessBank, and the U.S.-Educated Azerbaijani Alumni Association will also participate.

Aaron McKean and Kim Joyce, the volunteers in charge of Writing Olympics this year, are asking for contributions from willing donors for this event. You can get more information from this post on Aaron's web log.

If you're interested in donating towards this cause, here is the link to the Writing Olympics' Peace Corps Partnership web page. Thanks a lot. Take care.

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