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Hudson Valley Writing Project

Frequently Asked Questions

What will my child do in class? HVWP teachers build a fun and safe learning environment so that everyone is comfortable writing and sharing. Days begin with “writing into the day” and include community-building activities like nature walks, museum tours, or collaborative games that inspire writing. Writers start many pieces and, with guidance from their teachers, look closely at excerpts of published writing as a way to try “craft moves” that successful writers use. The teachers incorporate goal-setting and conferences into daily activities so that by week's end, all writers gain experience choosing and revising a piece of writing to publish. 

What are the teachers’ qualifications? Our teachers are all Fellows of the National Writing Project and have attended a rigorous professional development program, the Invitational Institute. HVWP teachers of writing write; our teachers have studied writing, teaching, and recent literacy research and have between 3 and 35 years of classroom experience. Our teachers are prepared to teach multi-age classes. 

What is unique about HVWP youth writing programs? Writers gain inspiration from Hudson Valley history, art, and nature through daily writing and art activities. In most programs, HVWP teachers work alongside museum educators, park rangers, and docents who take the group on behind-the-scenes tours to touch artifacts and explore secret places. Our classes also have instructional aides, future teachers, interning within each program. We have at least one teacher for every eight students. 

What is the "Writing Celebration" on the final day of the program? We invite family and friends to attend a 1-2 hour celebration, rewarding for everyone: the writer, the families, the teachers, and the peers who provided inspiration and feedback along the way. The young writers gain confidence using their "voices" and sharing their writing for an audience. 

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

What else will my child need? Snacks? We request that all participants bring refillable water bottles and snacks (no nut products, please!). For full-day programs, students also bring lunches. 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. Participants may also want to bring 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. 

For what kind of student is the program geared? We create a place for every kind of writer, from the reluctant to the most passionate. Children and teens, given freedom to choose what they write about, explore topics of interest to them. They build confidence by writing in a variety of genres, gaining new skills and developing their voices as writers. HVWP teachers work to individualize the programs to reach all ability levels. 

Do the writers get breaks? We provide breaks each day during which children can enjoy a snack and relax with their teacher and classmates, and go outside if weather permits. 

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? Because each program involves trying new types of writing and publishing at least one piece, many students attend multiple weeks. We discourage children from attending for less than a full program since each day allows writers to go further in the writing process; tuition is not adjusted for those who cannot attend full programs. 

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

What if my child misbehaves? We contact parents/guardians immediately if a young writer jeopardizes the learning of anyone in the group or the relationship HVWP has with our partner institutions. If problem behavior persists, the child will be asked to leave the program. These situations are extremely rare and our teams are experienced in working through conflict. Removing a child from a program is a last resort. Refunds are not provided in such situations. 

If I register my child online and do not pay immediately, is his/her spot held in the class? Registration is not complete until full payment is received. HVWP releases the program placement if a payment is not submitted within a two-week grace period after registration. 

Are scholarships available? Yes, we have a limited number of need-based scholarships that reduce tuition costs. HVWP will notify parents and placements if we can offer a program placement, and parents and guardians will have two weeks to submit agreed upon partial tuition. Click here to learn more about Tuition Assistance

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

Does HVWP offer extended childcare hours? We request that children be dropped off and picked up promptly at the designated times. During the week of July 15-19, 2019, HVWP will offer late pick-up at a charge of $25 per child (3 p.m. - 5 p.m.).

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

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

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

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