Summer Program Update by Gretchen Barkhuff

It has been quite a busy week here at the PEN/Faulkner office! The summer program starts today and, as the Education and Development intern, I’ve been brainstorming writing activities, finalizing lesson plans, and compiling the readings for the summer. I have learned a lot in the process, not the least just how much work goes into creating a single lesson. My head has been swimming with all the decisions that needed to be made in such a short amount of time. We needed to think of everything from weekly writing assignments down to what excerpts from literature we should use as writing examples. As I flipped through my favorite novels I originally found myself second-guessing my choices, thinking: “that seems like a good example for writing about place, but is it the best example?” I just wanted everything to be perfect.

This brings me to the second major thing I learned though the process: to trust my decisions and ask for advice when needed. With everyone at the office working together we have created a truly exciting summer program. The lessons are a mixture of traditional writing workshops and fun, energetic activities such as writing relay races and painting.

The summer packet is now printed and bound. We are all excited to meet the students and see what the summer holds.  Although we have been detailed in our planning, the one thing that cannot be planned is the students’ reactions. Make sure to check back regularly to see how the summer unfolds.