For many young students, writing is daunting task. Putting pen to paper is a homework chore, not a leisure time activity.
But for 32 fourth through eighth grade students at California State University, Stanislaus this week, writing is a passion.
Students from Turlock, Hilmar, Denair, Hughson, Modesto, and as far away as Stockton journeyed to CSU Stanislaus the past two weeks for the Turlock Young Writers Workshop, a program offered by the Great Valley Writing Project for more than 20 years. On Friday they were presented with certificates of completion for all of their hard work through the two week camp.
The students underwent intensive writing sessions. They visited with published authors, poets, journalists and columnists. They – sometimes nervously – shared their heartfelt and humorous work with one another.
“I came here to write better,” said Luke Joseph, a fourth grader at Sacred Heart School. “I learned many skills and great people.”
For the first time this year, the program incorporated a math workshop in conjunction with writing. Under the guidance of GVWP teacher consultants, and teachers from the CSUS Math Department, students had a chance to grow as writers and mathematicians. The two week camp helped students showcase their writing skills with others.
“It is a very enriching program,” said GVWP Director Carol Minner. “This academy has become a tradition on this campus and the students have fun with writing. It changes the child’s impression of what writing is all about.”
“Before writing used to be kind of hard for me, but I’m getting better at it,” said Joseph. “It’s really fun now.”
That kind of transformation is just what the Young Writers Program is all about.