Students Learn to Write at Sarah Lawrence College
Leavitt, a 14-year-old student at Beacon High School, always
had a desire to write. “I don’t have to be elated or depressed,
but if an idea pops into my head I’ll write it down in my journal
which I carry around with me,” she says.
This summer Emily had the opportunity to build upon the ideas
she writes in her journal and to hone her writing skills as
one of the 77 students who participated in the Summer Writing
Workshop for high school students at Sarah Lawrence College
The program, which has been in existence for five years, accepts
students on a first come, first serve basis, according to its
Director Myra Goldberg. She added that this year approximately
60 percent of the students who were accepted received Fulbright
scholarships. SLC graduate students teach the workshops and
lectures that are part of the program, which runs for one week
and serves high school students from grades 9 to 11 that hail
from both suburban and urban areas. According to Goldberg, this
year 50 percent of the participants came from urban areas.
heartened by the way in which kids from different backgrounds
enrich each other’s experiences,” said Goldberg.
The workshop provides students with the opportunity to better
their writing, but also to enhance their presentation skills,
as they are encouraged to perform. Students are divided into
smaller groups that focus on fiction, theater and poetry. This
summer the students made 30-second spot commercials dealing
with topics such as passion and justice. Other projects included
writing a script, directing and shooting it.
of the nature of pop culture, for example MTV and the Internet,
these kids are particularly skilled with mixed media,” said
Garineh Galian, a high school student at Emerson High School
and one of this year’s participants, admits to being nervous
when she first arrived at the Sarah Lawrence campus where the
program takes place.
I first got there, I turned to my mom and said ‘Why am I here?’”
Garineh said, explaining that she considered herself an amateur
writer. However, her fears disappeared when she discovered that
her fellow students also had different levels of writing experience.
The teaching style of the graduate students also helped.
teachers always said ‘different isn’t bad or good, it’s just
different.’ I definitely gained more confidence in my writing,”
says Garineh. “The teachers made the week fun.”
Emily agreed and said that she loved the “no judgment” policy
that the teachers instilled in the students. Both students recommend
the program to other aspiring writers. Emily has only one suggestion.
“Make the program longer!” she said.#