Noel Studio Works with Williamsburg Schools to Implement Communications/Writing Curriculum

Continuing its efforts to provide services that support the development of effective communicators in surrounding areas, Eastern Kentucky University’s Noel Studio will collaborate with Williamsburg Independent Schools to develop and implement the district’s communications and writing curriculum through professional development programs.

“School districts all across Kentucky have been recreating their writing portfolios over the past several months, as required by Senate Bill 1,” explained Kelli Moore, EKU’s Educational Extension Agent for Knox, Laurel and Whitley Counties, who first proposed the collaboration.“One of the ways Williamsburg Independent is making its program unique is to place an emphasis on communications, rather than strictly writing. The teachers see an opportunity to improve student presentations with targeted programs, such as PowerPoint, Prezi and Movie Maker, and desire training to continue improving the student’s ability to the level that can be achieved with expert guidance in this area.”

Noel Studio staff members will provide that guidance, offering on-site training in August to approximately 65 elementary- through high-school teachers in the Williamsburg district on presentation techniques and the evaluation of presentations. The effective development and use of technology in presentations is an integral piece of the planned training.

Noel Studio staff will also assist Williamsburg teachers in evaluating a sampling of student presentations during the school year. The purpose of these “evaluations” is not to judge the student presentations, but to help train teachers in the best manner to evaluate presentations.

“Williamsburg Independent believes that excellent writing and communications skills are paramount for college readiness or career readiness,” said Loren Connell, director of instruction with the Williamsburg Independent School District. “As our commitment to excellence continues, I cannot imagine a better way that we could expose our faculty and students to both the teaching and learning of the communications skills needed for the 21st Century than by working with Eastern Kentucky University and the Noel Studio. 

“The national accolades the Noel Studio and its staff have received distinguish the quality of their services,” he added. “Williamsburg is extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the Noel Center to enrich our students’ educational experience.”

Published on June 17, 2011