Houston, TX – [June 22, 2012] – Writers in the Schools, in conjunction with the School Literacy and Culture Project at Rice University, kicked off its twenty second year of Creative Writing Camp this summer. Named the #1 literary arts organization in Texas by the Texas Commission on the Arts, Writers in the Schools offers students K-12 the opportunity to write stories, essays and plays not just in a creative classroom environment but through field trips around the City of Houston. The fee-based camp, taking place in six campuses across Houston, began June 11 and will conclude on June 29.
In an ongoing effort to enrich creative writing through an integration of literacy and art, students in will take field trips to iconic Houston art and cultural centers including The Menil Collection, Rice University and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. On these tours, they will experience and write about public art pieces, including James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” and Jaume Plensa’s popular “Mirror.” Younger writers in grades K-2 will be visited in the classroom by artists, including contemporary dancers and drummers, who help students find beauty and unexpected inspiration in art and culture.
“Children are most stimulated by the things and activities that surround them,” said Robin Reagler, Writers in the Schools Executive Director. “Through the experience of seeing, touching and hearing art firsthand, our camp shows students that their writing is art and their words are powerful.”
Jameelah Lang, a second-year WITS writer goes on to say: “I continue to be fervently involved in WITS Creative Writing Camp because it teaches children that what they have to say is important. They learn writing skills dictated not by someone else, but by their own strengths and points of view.”
This year’s summer Creative Writing Camp serves more than 1,000 students, the largest turnout Writers in the Schools has ever seen. The camp, which runs mornings on Monday through Friday, consists of one teacher, one writer and 10-18 students. With a teaching and writing faculty of 160, every student is given individual attention and constructive feedback. At the end of camp, each classroom publishes an anthology, allowing students to include their best work. Students also proudly perform aloud for their families and peers.
Although enrollment in the three-week program is closed, parents can still enroll their children at:
- University of Houston-Downtown. One-week writing camps from June 4 through July 9 in suburban locations throughout Houston. Cost is $259 for grades 2-10 and $315 for grades 11-12.
- Discovery Green. Free Saturday creative writing programs through August.
- Jewish Community Center. Writing camp offered for children in grades 1-2 beginning July 23 and ending August 3. Cost is $375.
Through summer camps, after school and in-school programs, Writers in the Schools serves 20,000 K-12 students in 350 classrooms in 75 schools throughout the Houston region.
About Writers in the Schools
Writers in the Schools (WITS) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that engages children in the pleasure and power of reading and writing. WITS writers work in year-long programs in over 350 classrooms in order to help students develop their creative and analytical thinking skills. Learn about our in-school and afterschool writing programs, summer camps, or sign up for our blog at www.witshouston.org.
About the School Literacy Culture Project at Rice University
The Rice University School Literacy and Culture Project (SLC) is dedicated to helping teachers acquire and apply advanced knowledge in several areas related to literacy and schooling. These areas include early literacy, early childhood development, writing, and cultural differences. SLC provides year-long, classroom-based mentored learning for teachers through the widely respected Classroom Storytelling Project. A recent SLC research study and book by SLC founding director Patsy Cooper have both received national honors.