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Hudson Valley Writing Project

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Young Writers Programs?
Since 2002, the Hudson Valley Writing Project has provided literacy enrichment programs to give children and teens opportunities to write and learn in welcoming, supportive settings. HVWP celebrates the power of writing. Writing allows young people to explore who they are, where they are, and what they care about. Because of current health concerns, our summer programs will be offered as online workshops this year.

What will the online programs look like?
We will use secure platforms to support young writers working together in real time and independently in developmentally-appropriate ways. All of our programs will be designed around a central theme and use an inviting, fun, and constructive process that encourages writers to try many types of writing. Our teachers will offer creative writing prompts to spark students’ imaginations and introduce them to craft strategies they can use to draft and revise their writing. Writers will share their work in small groups, learning ways to give and receive feedback to strengthen their writing. By the week's end, each writer will share a piece of writing for publication in an anthology.

Who will teach the programs?
HVWP's experienced teacher writers lead our youth programs. They have completed a rigorous professional development program sponsored by HVWP and the National Writing Project. At least two teachers lead each program (one teacher for every eight students) and SUNY New Paltz future teachers offer additional support to young writers.

For what kind of student is the program geared?
HVWP teachers work to reach every kind of writer, from the reluctant to the most passionate. We find children and teens embrace writing when they are given freedom to choose what they write about, exploring topics of interest to them. They build confidence by writing in a variety of genres, gaining new skills, and developing their voices as writers.

What writing supplies will my child need?
Writers will need access to a computer with Wi-Fi, a camera, and audio. They will also enjoy and benefit from having writing and drawing materials (paper, pencils, markers, etc.) on hand.

How can I support my child during the program?
Prior to the start of the program, you will receive a letter from our teachers with strategies for supporting online writers. During the programs, younger writers (ages 8-12) will likely need someone close by, especially during short instructional breaks or “asynchronous learning.” (The teachers, for instance, may ask students to find objects at home that they can look closely at to inspire their writing and then may share “synchronously,” when the group is together.) Older students may work independently, writing for short periods of time before bringing their work back to the “synchronous” online setting to connect with peers. Here, the National Council of Teachers of English offers some additional advice on promoting writing and languge development at home.

Will the writers get breaks?
We provide short, scheduled 10-15 minute breaks in each session; teachers will guide writers to work independently and/or enjoy a snack and relax.

Will my child have work to do outside of the allotted class time?
There is no homework, but many students are motivated to write outside of class, exploring new ideas or continuing to work on a piece that they have started.

What if my child cannot attend the full week?
Writers benefit most from attending the full program and contributing to the writing community. Programs are designed so each day's work builds upon the day before. We cannot offer make-up days or provide refunds for missed classes.

How does the wait list work?
When a class is fully enrolled, we allow families to sign up for a wait list using the online registration form. If a spot opens up in the class or another section is added, we will accommodate families on the wait list in the order in which they signed up. There is no guarantee that space will become available for everyone or anyone on the wait list. Payment will not be due until you are fully registered.

What is the refund/cancellation policy?
Tuition is non-refundable, but we will issue a credit good for one year for cancellations due to illness or family emergency.

How do I get a tax receipt?
After your child completes the program, please email us at hvwp@newpaltz.edu and provide your name, your child's name, and your mailing address.

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