HVWP Awarded Support for FDR-Vanderbilt Teen Writing Program

NEW PALTZ- The Hudson Valley Writing Project at SUNY New Paltz (HVWP) was one of five northeastern writing project sites selected to team with the National Park Service (NPS) to design a summer writing program.

PROJECT WRITE, the result of this collaboration, allows Hudson Valley students in grades 7-12 to explore and write at the inspiring homes of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Vanderbilts.

The program will be co-taught by two HVWP social studies teachers, Dawn Vandervloed and Eric Fiore, and NPS Educational Specialist, Susanne Norris.

Said Norris, “I really look up to Eleanor, and I appreciate FDR’s conservation policies during the New Deal. They helped preserve the beauty of this land.” Activities will include personalized visits to the Vanderbilt Mansion, Top Cottage, Valkill and hikes in this historic National Park.

“There’s a great untapped resource here,” says Fiore, “Eleanor and FDR are such important figures. It’s mind-numbing to think they lived so close by – in time. Part of our goal is to bridge those gaps by walking the trails and visiting the amazing archives and taking a close look at original documents.”

Each day, students will explore writing as they discover history. They will have fun writing diary entries, letters, and descriptive nature journals from a variety of historic perspectives.

Vandervloed smiled, “Imagine Downton Abbey meets Hyde Park. We will write as if we were servants, cooks, and even the first lady, Eleanor! This is what makes history fun.”

PROJECT WRITE: Exploring the Roosevelt and Vanderbilt National Historic sites takes place July 22-26, 9:00-3:00. It is one of two special, HVWP programs celebrating Historic Places in the Hudson Valley. The second program, “Documenting the Walkway over the Hudson” is also one week long, July 15-19, 9:00-3:00. Parents are invited to join each program to celebrate student writing on the final day. HVWP will offer scholarship support through the generosity of the Dutchess Community Foundation and the National Writing Project.

To register: http://www.newpaltz.edu/hvwp/ywcamp.html

For more information about PROJECT WRITE or other youth writing programs this July, call the HVWP’s Coordinating Director of Youth Programs, Diane Rawson: 845-943-8437