“Rise Up and Write”: New HVWP summer program empowers teens as advocates on public issues

The Hudson Valley Writing Project (HVWP) at SUNY New Paltz is adding a new program, “Rise Up and Write,” to its annual series of summer writing workshops for children and young adults.

Funded in part by a grant from Maya Gold Foundation, “Rise Up and Write” will support Hudson Valley youth in discussing, writing about and advocating for issues that matter to them, at a moment in our nation’s history when young people’s voices are a growing force in the cultural and political discourse.

“Rise Up and Write” will be offered from July 16-20 on the SUNY New Paltz campus. It is intended for students aged 13-17. Tuition is $195 and scholarships are available. Use this link to learn more.

The new program is inspired by the vision of New Paltz Middle School teacher Valerie Hughes, who will co-teach the program with Julia Ponder, a teacher at Bailey Middle School in Kingston.

“I am constantly inspired by the voices and opinions of my students,” Hughes said. “Adolescents have an acute awareness of the injustices around them and in this world, and I want them to feel empowered to combat them. In this program they will be able to explore issues of their choosing – creating narratives, writing letters, and using writing – to make their ideas public.”

By challenging young people to investigate topics they are passionate about, “Rise Up and Write” will help writers develop their voices, access their power and gain the confidence to share their work.

“We believe writing plays a central role in civic engagement, and offers young adults (and writers of all ages) a unique way to clarify their thinking and express their beliefs,” said HVWP Director Tom Meyer.

“Through a carefully guided process of writing, sharing, response, and revision, we hope that the participants in ‘Rise Up and Write’ will gain a sense of authority as they take their seats at the community table.”

Registration is open now for “Rise Up and Write,” and for all other summer 2018 HVWP Young Writers Programs. Learn more at http://www.newpaltz.edu/hvwp/summercamps/ or by contacting Diane Rawson, HVWP Coordinating Director of Youth Programs, at (845) 943-8437.

About the Hudson Valley Writing Project
The Hudson Valley Writing Project (HVWP) is 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, preschool through college. HVWP teachers help students become successful writers, learners, and participants in their communities.

More information is available online.