WMU offers summer writing workshops for teachers, kids

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Photo of young boy writing.

Workshops begin June 17.

KALAMAZOO—Registration is under way for summer sessions at Western Michigan University that offer teachers classroom-tested strategies to help teach writing as well as provide young writers with a popular summer camp opportunity.

The Third Coast Writing Project, part of the National Writing Project network, is offering the summer workshops for teachers beginning June 17, while a young writers' camp also begins June 17. Now entering its 20th year, Third Coast has been providing rigorous, research-based professional development for teachers since 1994. More than 350 teachers have completed its flagship program, the Invitation Summer Institute. Nearly 200 more have engaged in Third Coast's other summer programs, along with thousands who have been part of in-school professional development seminars.

This year, Third Coast will again offer an Invitational Summer Institute, a Teacher as Writer seminar and a seminar in Farmington Hills, Mich., with the Holocaust Education Network. Third Coast also will continue its popular Camp for Young Writers, serving children ages 8-14.

Young writers' camp

  • Camp for Young Writers (June 17-28): This enrichment camp provides the spark for aspiring young writers in two distinct groups—ages 8-10 and 11-14. Directors and teachers help motivated children find their direction in writing. Poems, stories and much more come to life and culminate in a public reading for families, friends and teachers. The enrollment fee is $150. Applications are due by Friday, May 24.

Workshops for teachers

  • Invitational Summer Institute (June 17-28): Third Coast Writing Project's flagship program, the summer institute is available by application and invitation only and provides a professional learning community that enhances teachers' own writing and enables them to give voice to student writers. Enrollment is limited to 10 participants and costs $200 with an option for two WMU graduate credits for additional enrollment costs. The registration deadline is Tuesday, May 1.
  • Teacher as Writer Seminar (June 25-29): The Teacher as Writer Seminar focuses on the inner writer that exists in all teachers. Under the guidance of an experienced poet, writer and creative writer, teachers get the chance to concentrate full-time on their own writing, whether fiction, poetry or professional writing. Enrollment costs $200 with an option of one WMU graduate credit for an additional enrollment fee. Teacher as Writer applications must be returned by Wednesday, May 1.
  • Holocaust Education Network Michigan Satellite Seminar (July 7-12): Co-sponsored by Third Coast with the Holocaust Education Network and Memorial Library of New York, educators are invited to participate in the second Michigan Satellite Summer Seminar on Holocaust Education. The seminar will be held in Farmington Hills, Mich., at the Holocaust Memorial Center-Zekelman Family Campus. The fee, which is subsidized by a grant, is $100 for teachers, including lodging at the Courtyards by Marriott of Farmington Hills, most meals, and all materials and fees. Then, teachers who complete the program are eligible for an additional $1,000 in grant money to take back to local classrooms and schools to provide additional training, Holocaust education or programming.
  • Invitational Summer Workshop (July 30-Aug. 2): Co-sponsored with the Allegan Area Educational Service Area, the invitational workshop focuses on teaching writing, addressing the Common Core mandates, and using writing to help students and teachers think and learn in all content areas. The workshop is free to teachers in AAESA districts and $200 for those in non-AAESA districts.  There is an option for one WMU graduate credit for additional enrollment costs.

For more information, including program applications, visit thirdcoastwp.wikispaces.com or contact Dr. Jonathan Bush, WMU professor of English, at (269) 387-2571 or jonathan.bush@wmich.edu.

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