Summer Camp 2014 Registration Opens January 31st

Posted January 27, 2014 & filed under Notebook.

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Sign up for Creative Writing Camp, sponsored by WITS and Rice University, in locations across Houston. Campers ages K-12 will immerse themselves in fun activities and exercises all focused around building and strengthening their love of reading and writing. Registration begins January 31st. Classes will fill up that day so mark your calendars!

Notes from a Teacher at Camp

Posted June 22, 2012 & filed under Notebook.

Here are notes from Elizabeth Winston, a teacher at Creative Writing Camp:

During the first week in my 7th/8th grade Creative Writing Camp class, my teaching partner and I had the students work on writing short stories.  This week, we shifted the focus to poetry.  What’s interesting about having students try their hand at different kinds of writing is watching them each discover what kinds of writing they truly like to do – what inspires them, what they feel they’re good at.  Some of our students immediately got very involved in working on their short stories, and were anxious to get back to them when we moved to poetry.

One student, however, took us by surprise.  This particular boy– his name is Alex – told us on the first day that his dream is to be a fiction writer.  We assumed he’d be one of the ones that wanted to get back to his short story. What he brought to me today to type up for the classroom anthology, though, were two poems.  I asked him if he had written poetry before, and he shook his head no.

“I don’t know if I’m doing it right,” he told me.  “But I really like it.”  In his eyes was an excited light – he had been inspired by the poetry we’d read and discussed in class, and nodded eagerly when I offered to give him the titles of several books of poetry I thought he might enjoy.  Alex had discovered a new love, which will hopefully be a lifelong one.  For me, the kind of excitement I saw in him is the greatest reward of teaching writing.

We’re Built Like Horses

We are built like horses,

Strong, free and stubborn,

Our manes meant to feel the wind

But we were not born as such

We do not live with tenderness or freedom

Because we were born into bondage

Unto fingers cold to the touch

Every step is planned

Every stray is punished

In a land ruled by the likes of injustice

Where lies spread like fires to an open plain

Speech is not free

Every word has a price

And we are afraid to speak

For our words are their scripts

We are not us

But those that they want us to be

Shackled by the atrocities of their rule

Under an oath to be their servants

So, I say, they must be cast away

Replaced with those true in heart

Overrun by those with knowledge and goodness

So that they may be realized as the monsters they are

Whey we finally open our eyes

The people will be free

Our ignorance will fade

And the sun will shine again

We are built like horses,

Strong, free, and stubborn

Truly free at last, horses we can be

By Alex

Farewell, Summer Camp 2011

Posted July 15, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

Another summer of Writing Camp has come and gone. Check out this montage made by a great group of entering 4th graders led by WITS Writers Ms. Kiki and Mr. Chuey.

Summer Camp Registration Opens Today!

Posted February 1, 2010 & filed under Notebook.

Registration for our Summer Creative Writing Workshops in now open online. Students grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade can attend this unique three week workshop, now offered at 5 locations in the Houston area. This collaboration between Writers in the Schools and Rice University’s School Literacy and Culture Project has been named “Best Summer Program for Kids” by the Houston Press.
Click here for more information, or if you’re ready to register, click here.

Where Are We Now: Amy Williams

Posted June 29, 2009 & filed under Notebook.

Amy Williams (center) with colleagues DeAnna Murrell and Pansy Gee at summer writing camp.

Amy Williams (center) with colleagues DeAnna Murrell and Pansy Gee at summer writing camp.

Amy Williams has been working with WITS for five years.  We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with her again this year at the Summer Creative Writing Workshops.  This summer Amy is returning as the site supervisor for our central campus at Annunciation Orthodox School, where she teaches fourth grade during the school year.

She cites that the joy of working with WITS Program Manager, Jack McBride, and Associate Director, Long Chu, as being among the many reasons she loves to work with WITS.

Their support and inspiration are part of what makes WITS summer camp so successful and fun.  Working with WITS has opened new opportunities for creativity in teaching writing.  Every year I look forward to teaching at summer camp so I can learn from WITS writers.

Anthology Time at Summer Camp

Posted June 26, 2009 & filed under Notebook.

Lori Duron passes out anthologies to the proud, young authors.

Lori Duron Espinoza passes out anthologies to the proud, young authors at the Summer Creative Writing Workshops.

At the end of summer camp, the kids revise their best stories and poems and publish them in an anthology.