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Camps get youngsters excited about writing

By Megan Workman

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Before one 7-year-old boy with dyslexia attended writing camp last summer, he struggled with reading and writing.

"He has never been held back, but he's had to work really hard every year and we had to get him extra help to try to keep up with the other kids," the camper's parent said.

"Since the writing camp, he loves to write, more than he did before. He is more aware of his writing."

The young writers camps -- Fun With Words, for elementary students, and Finding My Voice, for middle school students -- are sponsored by the Central West Virginia Writing Project. The group hosted the summer camps for the first time last year.

Fun With Words and Finding My Voice are two of the camps supported by the Gazette Charities Send-A-Child-To-Camp Fund.

The writing camps aim to develop writing skills using children's literature. In small groups, students are guided on sentence building, paragraph organization and engaging in reading, writing and computer-based activities.

The young camper was proud of the writing pieces he completed during the week of the camp.

He "loved" the book he got at the end of camp that included every student's stories that they wrote throughout the week, his parent said.

Since he attended camp last year, the young camper carries a journal with him everywhere he goes.

"He really enjoyed his week of writing and the help he got from the teachers on a daily basis," the camper's parent said. "Even if I can't always read what he's writing, it doesn't matter because he loves to write. He can't wait for this summer's writing camp."

The cost of the camp is $200 per child. The camp is looking to award four scholarships at a total cost of $700 (the camp is asking parents to contribute $25). The Fun With Words camp for elementary students is July 15-19 at Ruffner Elementary School, 809 Litz Drive. The Finding My Voice camp is July 22-26 at John Adams Middle School, 2002 Presidential Drive.

For more information about the camps, visit www.marshall.edu/cwvwp or call 304-561-4926.

To help a child attend this camp or others like it, mail your donation to the Gazette Charities Send-A-Child-To-Camp Fund, 1001 Virginia St. E., Charleston, WV 25301. To donate online, visit www.wvgazette.com and look for the Camp Fund logo.

Every penny donated goes to camp scholarships. The Charleston Gazette covers all administrative costs.

Reach Megan Workman at megan.workman@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.


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