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KY Western Kentucky University WP Continues Successful Young Writers Summer Camp

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Dec 6, 2015
Posted by: nicoletteamann

Building on the success of their past camps, Western Kentucky University WP offers a three-day summer camp focused on the theme of "Writing to Make a Difference." 

Encouraged by the success of the one-day camps, three years ago we implemented a three-day Summer Young Writers’ Camp for 3rd through 5th graders to run Tuesday through Thursday of the second week of our Summer Institute.  We continued that program in summer 2015.  Writing Project Fellows returning for their second year were responsible for planning and putting on the camp, which was themed to coordinate with our Summer Institute.  We charged $100 per camper and provided all materials, snacks, and lunch.  Again from outside donations, we were able to provide some scholarships for students recommended by their teachers.  Camp teachers in the past have worked with the Kentucky Museum, which is situated on our campus, to provide a museum tour that would pique their imaginations about Kentucky history.  Another summer, they studied myths, wrote their own myths, and created a living museum complete with costumes and illustrated texts.  In 2015, student activities were organized around the theme “Writing to Make a Difference.”  They toured the WKU journalism department’s media facilities and had a guest speaker from the local newspaper.  Their culminating project was a videotaped “documentary” on people who have made a difference, with the campers taking the role of broadcasters.  As a result of the popularity of the Summer Writing Camps, we have had requests from parents to provide similar camps for older students and are exploring the possibility of adding a middle-school version in 2016. 

Two years ago, we began advertising our camps by setting up an information table at our city’s Summer Programs Fair each spring.  This past year, we also got a local television interview in which a past teacher and student of the Young Writers’ Camps talked about their experiences.   The Young Writers’ Camps have become a stable and expected part of our project work.