As the time draws near for Carla's first solo Internet project we can see her exploding with excitement. I have asked her to share with all of us.... -Patti

Carla: Yes I am excited (to the point of nauseam for some of my coworkers I am afraid!!!) ;-) [<-- not so! We are excited with her - Patti]

This project was born when my Title 1 students wrote a story that a children's author saw on the web. She wrote to them about their story. The looks on their little faces were golden! It is something that I will never forget. After that all they wanted to do was write (this is a problem that I don't mind having)!!! Anyway, I got thinking (uh-oh), and the idea came to me to pair a student writer with a published children's author. This is the basis for the workshop.

I am facilitating this Writing Workshop beginning on Monday for 9 days. I have enlisted the help of 11 published children's authors to mentor student (apprentice) authors. The mentoring will take place over the internet via e-mail. I will be conducting instruction each day with the apprentices and then they will send their work to their mentor author for guidance *from a pro*.

To make this experience even more exciting, I have 4 girls (thanks Carolynn) from Cape Town, South Africa and one from Cairo, Egypt who are participating totally through e-mail. These girls are sooooo excited and I hear from them almost every day with the all important question "When can we start????"

Currently the authors are writing to their apprentices so that each student will have a letter when they arrive on Monday. The letters are so touching in expressing each author's love of their craft! I am absolutely awed! Some of the letters have been so beautiful that I am planning on using pieces of them as teaching points in the mini-lessons of the workshops!

Casio has sent me a digital camera to *capture* the moments. The students are going to be able to use the camera to illustrate their original stories as well as document the daily progression of the workshop. Casio has asked to be able to use some of those pictures on their website (more excitement)!

I am developing a website to showcase the work of the apprentices. As their stories become finalized, they will be published on our website.

Here you will find links to all of the authors who are graciously donating their time to this project!

As you can see I am very excited! I am hoping to do something similar in the fall with my young title 1 students! I have found that there is a great deal of value in having one's work acknowledged and appreciated by one that you respect!

Patti says that I jumped in with both feet! This is true. But you must realize that I looked very closely at where I was jumping to make sure the water wasn't too deep! I also kept my eyes out for the life guard (Patti) who has had to throw the ring to me several times to pull me back in! Sometimes I was afraid, but the life guard would jump in first and hold out her hand! Then I knew I would be fine and this was something I could do! Now it is funny because I have a friend and I keep saying to her "Come on in the water is great!"

hugs to all,

After the workshop...Reflections

June 27, 1998

Hello Friends,

Patti has asked me to share my thoughts on the Writing Workshop now that it has finished! It has gone very well. The authors were wonderful and gave much more than I had hoped for! The children were really sad to see everything come to an end. Many had really bonded with their mentors.

I surveyed the students about the strategies they had learned and all said that they had definitely benefited from the experience! Many commented on how their love of writing had grown and two stated that they now had the confidence to pursue writing as a possible career choice! Because this was an extra curricular activity, I did not assess them on their skills. However, growth was obvious by watching their stories grow and develop based on their mentor's suggestions! I even watched attitudes change from not wanting to revise, thinking their writing was good enough, to actually voluntarily "waiting in line" for a conference because "this sentence just isn't very good". I was amazed that they would turn to their peers who they viewed as being strong writers, and ask to conference with them!

Overall the experience was wonderful for me also. The authors gave me writing insights that I just didn't have before. I know that I am a much better teacher of writing for having worked with these authors and seeing the thoughts they had on writing.

I am thrilled that the students gained so much from the experience. What I never expected was that I would gain so much from the experience as well!

I have also finished the webpages for the workshop ( but not including the international students yet).

I would also like to thank, publicly, Patti Weeg for all that she has done. She was at my home yesterday around 9:30 AM trying to find my webpage files because I had lost them while trying to FTP them over! Inspite of having to work over my wails and sobs, she found them! You all are in for such a treat to be working with her next week! Enjoy!;-)

Best of luck to all,

Patti's comments: What an inspiration it was for me to see Carla's enthusiasm as she prepared for this two week workshop that she and the authors willingly gave to our Delmar students. No one received any financial gain but everyone went away richly blessed by the gathering of generous and talented authors, excited students and a dedicated teacher who wanted to encourage student writers. *Hugs* to everyone involved!

Hello, Carla!!!


You made me "fly" with this experience...
By remembering some students we have here with so many problems of writing skills, I feel myself happy on hearing that there are always a creative and successful way.

I am proud of you because I can remember when things were new and strange.... But, beside Patti, we all grow and learn a lot!

Send your children lots of kisses (or my known BEIJOCAS)!!! And just go on! We must turn guns into better things... Maybe pencils, pens or keyboards....

As Marisa Lucena usually says... By our small actions, we are writing HISTORY!



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Patricia A. Weeg

June 27, 1998