YOUNG WRITERS PROJECT
Professional Development Programs 2013/14
Young Writers Project is a Vermont nonprofit with extensive experience helping students improve their writing and teachers deepen student engagement and performance across curricula. An independent study in 2010 (a more extensive two-year study is underway) showed that students using the YWP digital classroom platform with teachers in YWP professional development programs gained confidence in writing, worked harder and gained respect for their classmates. Many teachers tell us that their students engage more deeply and perform better because of regular writing in the YWP digital classroom spaces. They also say that YWP’s model of ongoing coaching and support is a professional development system that works. Read more »
Young Writers Project is glad to schools undertake "The Elders Project," a multi-layered program to connect students with elders' stories. This project can be accomplished at any stage and can involve even the youngest writers. Cut and paste the exercise below.
This exercise is to have you write a story about someone who is important to you, an elder in your family or in the community with whom you feel close. You should obtain a photo and get the elder or someone who knew the elder to tell you a story they had never heard before. Find out as much as you can about the person you are writing about. But keep in mind this idea: Write a story, not a report. Create a blog entry; use the tag: Elders.
The steps: Read more »
A photo story is a very simple form of digital storytelling that is designed to accent your voice and increase the power of your story. The audio should be you narrating your piece, or telling a complementary story, or you speaking with some music and/or soiund effects in the background. The image should be compelling, it should draw you in. And the text, of course, is the heart of what you are trying to say. The piece should be short 125 to 500 words.
Why do one? Because they strengthen your voice and provide a powerful experience for the reader/listener. Read more »
1. BRIEF background on YWP which has two parts:
- Working directly with kids:
- youngwritersproject.org (an afterschool site) is a civil digital writing community for teens in VT & NH with about 2,500 active members;
- Newspaper Series is now carried in 20 newspapers, vpr.net.
- Workshops and regular monthly slams with additional focus on Old North End, where YWP has moved it's offices.
- Working directly with schools:
- YWP Schools Project... digital classrooms, support, mentoring... anticipate 45 schools this year, including a school in Shanghai and possible pilot in Newark, N.J.
- Residencies, including Slam/Performance Writing Workshops, Ballad Writing, Elders Project ...
- Digital Writing Practicum through St. Michael's College ... We anticipate 50+ teachers in this year's course.
2. QUICK update on changes for this year: Read more »
Founded as an independent nonprofit in 2006; expertise is in engaging kids, mostly online, to write, build community, improve skills and submit best work for external publication.
To reach kids who needed us most, partnered with schools and provide extensive professional development, mentoring, platform and residencies to schools. Read more »
This is my uncle Frank, Frank Glazer. Frank is 95 years old. Frank still plays concert piano; he still teaches at Bates College. This year's project was to play all 32 of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas.
He started in September and just finished up last weekend, the second weekend in April. Playing in the background is Frank's 1968 recording of Erik Satie; the New York Times called it the Classical Album of the Year. Frank has played with symphonies all over the world. He premiered several of Aaron Copland's pieces. He studied under Schoenberg and Schnabel. He began playing professionally in a vaudeville show at the age of 13. Music, Frank says, keeps him alive.
(Note: This was written by YWP Director Geoffrey Gevalt in May 2010. Frank turned 97 in February, 2012, still performs, still teaches at Bates College and has mapped out his concert programs for the next three years, including a special series the year he turns 100.
The second podcast is a recording of Frank's appearance in 2012 on The Story on National Public Radio.)
Francine Dissinger, otherwise known as my grandmother, is a very funny and sweet lady. When you've had a bad day, or if you gotten the blues, she will brighten your day with a smile and a laugh. Sometimes she'll tell a joke or a funny story about her past.
My grandmother was raised in Belgium ( a country in Europe ) with her dad and her mom, and she was an only child. When she grew up, she met a man named Jack Dissinger, which was soon to be her husband. When they got married, and moved to America,they had two children, my dad, Chris, and my aunt Isabelle. Much later after that, when I was born, Of cancer, my grandpa passed away. It was a very meloncholy time for my family. To cheer up, we went to my grandmother's home town, Brussels Belgium. Much later after that, she moved into our house in Vermont. Read more »
This is my Pepa (Grandpa). He is amazing to me because he taught me how to play guitar, piano, and golf!! My pepa is 62 years old and is still a charm! When I was at least 7, I saw my sister in the bedroom with Pepa, and he was teaching her how to play guitar. I was unexpeirenced, but it looked really fantastic. I asked if I could learn to play. From then on, Pepa is teaching me how to play guitar. He plays in church on Sundays and I get to watch. Every time I see him Playing, I learn something new.
Pepa has also taught me to play piano because same with guitar, I wanted to learn how to play. Pepa taught me the notes in 2 weeks. Then, he taught me how to play some chords and I really got the hang of it. I just love sitting on the piano chair playing while Pepa is sitting right next to me playing a duet with me. Read more »
My Great Grandmother, Mary Wright, is, drum roll please... 102! When she was 100, she got a letter from Barack Obama, congratulating her on turning 100.
She is starting to lose her memory, and almost everything is slipping away. She doesn't remember me or Maryel, but she remembers that she likes having us around.
At her house in Fairfax, she keeps little candies in two glass pigs, mints in one and Hershey kisses in another. I love the mints, but the Hershey kisses sometimes mix with the mints and make them taste minty. Those are my favorite.
I haven't been all around her house but I know two rooms very well. Once you go through the front door, you step into her kitchen. To your right is a counter with the glass pigs with candy in them, and to your left is the kitchen. We'd put our stuff on the table and walk straight into the living room. Read more »
YWP has become a member of Skype in the Classroom and is seeking some teachers who'd be interested in pairing up with an urban school somewhere on the globe to pair up students on your Schools Project site and to exchange Skype connections. This spring or next year.
If so, contact, Geoff Gevalt at YWP. firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-324-9537
1. IMPORTANT REQUEST: All of you using these sites are probably interested to know how it helps student engagement and performance. YOU CAN HELP confirm what we've found in previous studies AND provide us new information to help you help students.
As we've discussed when the year began, we have a quick survey and a quick-write prompt that we'd like your kids to do. Please get them to do it because the more responses we get, the more accurate the information we can give you.
In the next few weeks, please have your students go go YOURSITE.ywpschools.net/wintersurvey AND YOURSITE.ywpschools.net/winterprompt and have the students participate... The survey takes about 5-7 minutes and give the students 15 minutes on the writing prompt. Make sure they save their work! Read more »
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