Writing Project summer program helps high schoolers with the college essay

COLLEGE ESSAY_group shotThe Hudson Valley Writing Project (HVWP) at SUNY New Paltz is welcoming local high school students to a week-long program designed to help them draft the personal narrative essays that are an essential component of the Common Application required by colleges and universities.

“Writing the College Essay” will include lessons, workshops and group exercises conducted on the SUNY New Paltz campus from July 11 to 15, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Students and teachers will work collaboratively to brainstorm topics, study effective model essays and organize their ideas and writing in a supportive setting.

“We love housing this program on campus, because it gives our students a glimpse into their future academic lives, and helps them keep their eyes on the prize,” said HVWP Coordinating Director Diane Rawson.

Last year’s attendees used the tips and tricks they gained from the HVWP mentors to apply successfully to a number of top schools, including SUNY New Paltz, Ithaca College, Skidmore College, George Washington University, SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Geneso, Hobart and William Smith College.

“One thing that I now know is that I can write a well-written essay, not just for college, but in general,” one recent participant said. “My favorite part of the program was the one-on-one conferences with our teachers, which were so helpful.”

The program is co-taught by HVWP teacher leaders Steve Masson, who teaches English at Highland High School and works as a composition instructor at New Paltz, and Kristen Masson-Diedhiou, who teaches at Edson Elementary School in Kingston.

“Writing the College Essay” is one of several summer programs offered by the HVWP to the Hudson Valley’s young writers. The cost is $275, and scholarships are available. To register, please visit http://www.newpaltz.edu/hvwp/summercamps/.

For more information about WRITING THE COLLEGE ESSAY or other youth writing programs, contact Diane Rawson at 845-943-8437 or dianearawson@gmail.com.

About the Hudson Valley Writing Project

The HVWP at the SUNY New Paltz was founded in 2001 as a professional development organization whose purpose is to improve the teaching of writing and to promote literacy development in all disciplines and at all levels of education, pre-kindergarten through college. HVWP teachers help students become successful writers, learners, and participants in their communities. For more information, visit www.newpaltz.edu/hvwp