TEACHING THE HUDSON VALLEY BLOG
|Downton Abbey Meets Hyde Park|
|Posted by Debi Duke|
|on June 08, 2013|
“Imagine Downton Abbey meets Hyde Park," says Washingtonville High School social studies teacher, Dawn Vandervloed. "We will write as if we were servants, cooks, and even the first lady! This is what makes history fun.”
The intersection of writing, history, and fun is what PROJECT WRITE is all about. Bringing together some of THV's favorite things--significant places, students, teachers, and writing--the program will allow students to explore and write at and about the Walkway Over the Hudson or the Roosevelt- Vanderbilt National Historic Sites.
The innovative, summer program is coordinated by the Hudson Valley Writing Project at SUNY New Paltz (HVWP). We'd love to see teachers and site educators throughout the Valley follow the project and adopt the idea next summer.
Pictured above from left: Eric Fiore, Susanne Norris, and Dawn Vandervloed. Photo courtesy of HVWP.
During Exploring the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites, students will investigate writing as they discover history, creating diary entries, letters, and nature journals from a variety of perspectives. Dawn, an HVWP teacher consutlant, will be joined by fellow HVWP-er, Eric Fiore, a LaGrange Middle School teacher, and National Park Service education specialist, Susanne Norris.
Students who register for Documenting the Walkway over the Hudson will write, film, and produce a short documentary. Through writing, digital storytelling, and film, they'll learn about the Walkway and the communities it connects--Highland and Poughkeepse.
Steve Masson, lead teacher for the Walkway program predicts, "We are going to have a blast investigating and documenting what we learn through interviews and research. Can you imagine a better spot in the Hudson Valley?" Steve, another HVWP consultant, teaches English at Highland High School.
“Documenting the Walkway” meets July 15-19 at SUNY New Paltz with trips to the Walkway. It is open to grades 9-12. The Hyde Park program is for grades 7-12 and meets July 22-26 at the Wallace Visitor and Education Center. On the last day, parents are invited to visit and celebrate student writing.
Tuition is $285 for the Walkway session and $150 for the Hyde Park program. Thanks to the generosity of the Dutchess Community Foundation and the National Writing Project, HVWP is able to offer scholarships, but funds and space are limited so recommend students now.
Register here. For details about PROJECT WRITE or other youth writing programs, call HVWP’s coordinating director of youth programs, Diane Rawson, 845-943-8437.
more About the teachers
During HVWP's 2010 summer institute, Dawn Vandervloed produced and edited a digital bio-poem about Eleanor Roosevelt's life and work. See it here.
Steve Masson is coordinating "Senior Inquiry Project Talks" involving students from Arlington, Highland, and New Paltz. Read more.
Susanne Norris has developed a range of activities and lesson plans related to the Roosevelt sites. Search her name or Roosevelt here to find some of them.