Giving back through our love of writing

— Cristina Fletcher 

Writing is a skill that we use each and every day here at WE Buchan. Writing has been a personal passion of mine since I was young, and what led me to a career in communication.

That’s why I’m thrilled that the Melbourne office is using its ‘Week of Giving’ to share our love of writing with some local primary school children.

Last year, WE started an initiative to give back to the local community with our first ‘Day of Giving’. WE employees globally spent 1,700 hours volunteering for education focused non-profits, cleaning and organising classrooms, making holiday crafts, and spending time helping with homework in after-school programs.

So in 2018 we’re building off of the success of our ‘Day of Giving’ to encompass a whole week. It’s an opportunity do some team bonding, have fun, and give back to the community where we live and do business.

In the Melbourne office, we’ll be using our time to meet with 25 incredibly bright and enthusiastic Grade Five children. For an hour each week, we’ll be helping them hone their creative writing skills in preparation for the NAPLAN tests. Specifically, we are looking at the six traits of writing: Content, Organisation, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency and Conventions.

This week we focused on helping the children find and express their character’s voice. They were asked to think about a personal object and write a letter to themselves, from the perspective of the object. I was inspired by how expressive and funny the children were. Then we asked them to plan out a story they would write, and we really saw their imaginations soar. Despite the teacher telling them the best stories come from personal experiences, my group were planning to do stories set in Singapore, Alaska and in outer-space.

I think that short hour had a profound impact on me. Firstly, I was delighted to see that plenty Australian children, including many boys, love writing as much as I do. Secondly, I was inspired by their enthusiasm and imagination, and realised that I need to embrace my inner-child more. Finally, I was left feeling energised from the experience and went back to work with a spring in my step. And that is what the week of giving is all about.