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Hudson Valley Writing Project

Frequently Asked Questions

What will my child do in class? Our teachers incorporate community-building activities from the start in order to build a safe and fun learning environment so that everyone is comfortable writing and sharing their work. In the first several days of the workshop, not only do writers start many pieces, they look closely at models of similar writing as a way to learn about how published writers "craft" their writing. As the week progresses, the writers continue to experiment with writing, while the teachers incorporate goal setting, conferences, and revision into the daily activities. By week's end, writers get support in editing, publishing, and celebrating their work.

What will my child do in the Hudson Valley Site programs? These programs occur in local sites renowned for Hudson Valley history, art, and nature. Teachers use daily writing and art activities to support young writers describe their observations and interpret, for themselves, the significance of each destination. In most programs, students will not only work with HVWP teachers, but also with educators at the host site who take the group on behind-the-scenes tours to touch artifacts, to explore secret places, and to develop a personal appreciation.

What is the "Writing Celebration" on the final day of the program? We invite the writers' parents, guardians, and family to attend a 1-2 hour program in which students read their work aloud for an audience. We want young writers to develop not only their writing, but also their speaking "voices". The celebrations are rewarding for everyone: the writer, the families, the teachers, and the peers who provided inspiration and feedback along the way.

What are the qualifications of the teachers? All of our teachers are fellows of the National Writing Project and have attended a rigorous professional development program, the Invitational Institute. HVWP teachers of writing write and our teachers have studied writing, teaching, and recent literacy research and have between 3-35 years of classroom experience.

What is the teacher to student ratio? We design the program to have one teacher for every ten students; our teachers are prepared to teach multi-age classes.

What writing supplies will my child need? We provide pencils, journals, and all other supplies that your child will use in class. Some writers will want to bring their own laptops.

What else will my child need? Snacks? We request that students in full-day programs bring lunch, snack, drink and refillable water bottle each day. Students in half-day programs should bring a snack and drink (no nut products please!). We are unable to refrigerate snacks and lunches. If necessary, perishable food items should be sent in an insulated/cooler bag or packed with an ice pack. Other supplies that participants may want to bring include sunscreen and bug-repellent for outdoor activities.

Will my child have homework? While there is no homework, some students are motivated to continue writing outside of class.

My child does not enjoy writing. Will your program help him/her? We try to create a relaxed, camp-like atmosphere where students will feel comfortable and gain confidence in their writing ability. While this is not a "red-pen" program, the writers tend to gain fluency from daily practice, praise, and publishing. The goal is to build students' confidence in expressing themselves.

My child is in a gifted class. Will your program challenge him/her? Our classes are small, and our teachers work to individualize the program to reach all ability levels.

Do the children get a break during the class? Yes, we provide a break about half way through the day when children can enjoy a snack and relax with their teacher and classmates, and go outside if weather permits.

Is transportation available? No, but we encourage parents to carpool.

Does HVWP offer extended childcare hours? No, we request that children be dropped off and picked up promptly at the designated times.

Can my child be placed in the same class with a friend? Yes, as long as the program has room and children are in the same age/grade level we can usually put them together.

Can my child attend multiple weeks? Partial weeks? Students can sign up for multiple weeks of instruction. Each program involves trying new types of writing and publishing at least one piece. We discourage children from attending less than the full program since each part reflects a part of the writing process; we do not adjust the tuition for those who cannot attend the full program.

How are absences made up? We do not have make-up days or provide refunds for missed class.

What if my child misbehaves? We will contact parents/guardians immediately if a young writer, through his/her behavior, jeopardizes the learning of a group or the relationship HVWP has with any of our partner institutions. If the problem behavior persists, the camper will be asked to leave the program. These situations are extremely rare and our teams are very experienced in working through conflict. Removing a child from a program is a last resort. No refund will be available in such situations.

May I observe a class? Because our programs are relatively short, we do not invite parents to observe in the classrooms. However, every program has a Writing Celebration on the last day of the program when parents, guardians, and family are invited to a celebration of the writers' accomplishments.

Are scholarships available? Yes, we have a limited number of need-based scholarships available. Parents and guardians should complete the Scholarship Application and submit it to HVWP.

If I register my child online and do not pay immediately, is his/her spot held in the class? If you are applying for a scholarship, we request that a registration form be submitted within 2 weeks of registration to hold a place in the class until the scholarships are announced. If you are not applying for a scholarship, registration is not complete until full payment is received. HVWP reserves the right to release the spot in the program if the payment or scholarship application is not submitted within the 2 week grace period.

What if the class I register for is full? We limit the number of students in each class. If the class you register for is full, we will contact you and let you know about the waiting list and other available programs.

How do I get a receipt? After your child completes the program, please email us and provide your name, your child's name, and address.

What is the refund/cancellation policy? Cancellations made by May 15 will receive full tuition minus a $75 processing fee. Cancellations made after May 15 will not receive a refund. 

Other questions? Please email us at hvwp@newpaltz.edu or call us at (845) 257-2836.