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As a Family Leader Volunteer at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Centre, I will be offering a second writing workshop for clinicians and volunteers during Teaching and Learning week in April 2024. 

Last year we met virtually for 60 minutes to make time for ourselves while also reflecting and integrating our creative practice into a brave/safe space. We asked ourselves: What can we learn about ourselves and the stories of others through writing? What can we teach one another? 

This year I will be leading two workshops for Teaching and Learning week, one virtual and one in person. Our focus/theme will be “Back to Nature.” We will spend an hour together using writing prompts inspired by our experiences in the natural world, learning how these can deepen our understanding of ourselves, each other, as well as the world around us. 

During my time at Antioch, I led two virtual workshops for parents of disabled or complex needs children. My goal was to create a space for these parents to have time for themselves, while doing something creative.

We began with a discussion about how we could create a brave space as a group and then went on to have a short roundtable introduction before jumping into a brief discussion about genres.

The genre discussions (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry) included an introduction with examples written by parents of disabled children or disabled folks. Through writing prompts and the opportunity to share, we were able to create a brave, educational, and supportive workshop together in a very short time.

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Word on the Street:

“I liked the tone and pacing of the class. Kara gave a couple great examples to get things moving, and then the prompts really helped flush out some ideas. It felt like a soft approach, and a safe space, and a fun self-care session where I got to go inward.” 

“Kara’s personality was warm and she immediately set a tone of collegiality. Diving into writing and most importantly sharing our writing felt like a pretty big leap of trust – especially for people not used to sharing. It takes courage!” 

notebook, pen, book, and coffee on the table at a cafe
"It is what you don't write that frequently gives what you do write its power.”
Toni Morrison