Writing workshop gives kids reason to think, write, have fun

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2000

The Wiregrass Writing Project and the Southeast Alabama Regional Inservice Center is offering area children a way to keep busy and learn this summer.

These groups are sponsoring the annual Think!! Write!! Workshops throughout southern Alabama during the summer. Classes will be held for weekly periods in Brewton, Enterprise, Troy and Greenville.

The Greenville area workshop for children in grades 2-9 will be held June 19-23 at W. O. Parmer Elementary School from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. each day. A fee of $45 and an application covers tuition, supplies, refreshments and a book bag for each student.

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The children will participate in writing activities dealing with this year's theme, "Aerospace – Come Fly With Me," including descriptive, narrative and expository writing dealing with planets, stars and aliens.

During the workshop, the children also will participate in crafts and study space-related topics dealing with this year's theme.

Instructors will be teacher-consultants of the Wiregrass Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project, who are part of a network of teachers nationwide who are developing and practicing the most effective instructional strategies in thinking and writing today.

Judy Williams, program development specialist at Troy State University, said if there are enough children participating in a workshop, they will be split up into the following groups: grades 2-3, 4-5 and 6-9.

"We definitely hope for more interest this year for the workshop," Williams said. "When the different ages of children are put in the same classroom, the young ones learn so much from the older ones."

At the end of each session, all the students' writings are published in an anthology that they receive at the end of the workshop. Cost of the book is added into the tuition charge.

Williams said she thought the anthology was a good way to encourage the children to write and to help them in the future.

"They can look back in this book and say this is what I did,'" Williams said. "Encouraging the children this way also can help them start thinking about a career in writing."

Williams added that since children are tested each year for their writing abilities, it will increase their writing skills and will help give them a higher level of thinking ability in their everyday lives.

"In class, many children consider writing a chore. We want to show them that writing can be enjoyable, and that you can learn from it also," she said.

For an application to attend the writing workshop, contact the Regional Inservice Center at TSU at (334) 670-3495.