Evelien van Dort, who has written many storybooks for children, conducted the workshop training to 20 writer/participants. She received a royal decoration in 2016 in recognition of her services to literature and literacy in the Netherlands.
The aim of the writing workshop was to stimulate aspiring writers to use this system as a tool to write and to publish more children’s books written in a comprehensive language that children can easily read.
AVI stands for Analysis of Individualization. The system was developed in 1972 and modernized in 1994 by KPC Group in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, with the aim to individualize the reading education. In the meantime, it has taken an important place in basic education in the Netherlands and Belgium.
AVI has 12 levels by which a school measures how the technical reading development of a child is. Basically, it boils down to the usage of specific guidelines to write for certain age groups, taking into consideration the maximum number of words in a sentence, the length of these words and the usage of punctuation marks and capitals, for instance. At the end of the day, the AVI method is a technical method to write a story in simple language, that is understandable for children.
During the workshop, participants were trained in the theory of AVI writing, interspersed with examples. Their homework assignment was to write a story on a chosen AVI-level and to present this story to their fellow participants in the Dutch and Papiamentu language.
Morales said she was “happy” that she could participate in the training. “Writing children’s books is an art and writing AVI-children’s books is that for sure. It’s a challenge to write an exciting story and to captivate children in a pleasant language from the beginning until the end. The techniques I have learned in this AVI training will help me in writing more consciously for specific age groups,” she said.
“Writing exciting stories for children is a blessing. I will continue to be inspired by children in the first place to write beautiful stories that our Caribbean children can relate to. My senses are my first guide when writing stories. I use writing techniques to refine the language of my story and to make it more accessible,” Morales said.
Morales has nine children’s books under her name, with topics varying between everyday life to very imaginative stories.
The latest spiritual child of author Loekie Morales, ‘Chella and the Weird Woman/Chella en het vreemde vrouwtje’, was distributed last week to all the primary schools on Sint Maarten.
‘It was a great pleasure to donate a box of 27 books for comprehensive reading to the schools. Each one of them have received visit from the Beyond Kultura Foundation’s (BKFs) representative/project leader Ingrid Holaman, who sometimes was accompanied by some sponsors.
They were welcomed by the schools in a really nicely, festivity way. The schools scheduled for last week Monday, had a privilege to have the writer herself visiting them.
Loekie Morales: ‘The children at the schools had happy faces and enjoyed to get the books. Some schools have shown me the other books they have gotten from former years from Beyond Kultura, which they have been reading for the children. Most of the children know the story of ‘Mina Marina’ ‘Bonte Boel’ and the ‘Magic Wedding Cake’ still, and some could even memorize ‘Zonnesproetjes’ which was distributed in 2005. This is a good sign.
During a visit of Mrs. Holaman, a student has even given her a small guitar to to hand over to the writer, as gratitude for the books received by his school.
In 2018, January and February, the schools can call up Morales to give a full presentation of the ‘Chella-story’. That will be an interactive act of the story with the children. I am sure they will enjoy it, like the children in Curaçao and Aruba did,’ Morales stated.
‘Last week, we have gotten the good news of the Central Bank, which has helped out financially to cover the rest of the costs of the books. BKF is really relieved with this gesture.’
BKF hopes the children will fully enjoy this story which teaches children to be obedience and to not go with strangers, anywhere’, Morales stated.