August 6, 2007
With the first day of school looming in the distance some students are putting their thinking caps on a little earily. They are filling their last few weeks of summer with the freedom to write.
The Back to School Prep session is part of the Freedom Writers summer camp put on by the Charlottesville Writing Center.
During the day students sharpen their critical thinking skills by analyzing poetry and writing research papers. Needless to say, it's not a typical summer camp, but it's having positive effects on the campers.
"If you dont think about things or analyze things you're just going to have a little information. If you dont think about it in a different way you're making yourself ignorant," said 13-year-old Arnold Crummie.
Heather Burns, the director of the Charlottesville Writing Center says writing and reading are valuable life skills that can serve as a creative outlet. She tries to impart this philosophy to her campers.
"It's about thinking and getting thinking onto paper," said Burns.
It's starting to stick with her students.
"How cool is it that words can cry and laugh, and touch them," Irene Lee, a rising 8th grader at Southerland Middle School.
The program concentrates on back to school prep, but it's not all about preparing for that ever-dreaded research paper assignment.
"If we're calling the program freedom writers then it's about power. Writing will set you free," said Burns.