Testimonial from author James Van Pelt

Author and Colorado teacher, James Van Pelt

Author and Colorado

I’m a long-time veteran of the CWP (I did all the offerings, including the summer seminar in Greeley in 1991 or ’92), and I still tell teachers they should enroll.

This will be my thirty-fifth year of teaching in western Colorado, and I was looking back at all the classes, seminars, and workshops I attended. None of them did as much for me as the CWP. When I took the summer course, I’d just finished my masters at U.C. Davis in Creative Writing. I didn’t need to be sold on the idea of teachers as writers, but it was nice to see an entire movement devoted to the idea that all teachers should write, not just so they can teach it, but because writing is a way for individuals to explore themselves.

That’s a powerful learning tool for the teachers to examine their inner lives, and it’s a powerful teaching tool to bring to the classroom.

Thank you for the work that you and all the instructional coaches bring to Colorado teachers in this powerful program.


Read Van Pelt’s latest novel, Pandora’s Gun, or find out more at jamesvanpelt.com

Here’s what your colleagues are saying about CWP:

Erica Rewey

Erica Rewey, Palmer High School, Colorado Springs

The Colorado Writing Project forever changed the way I taught (and learned) writing in my classroom. Our young people have so much to say, and the writers workshop not only gives them a voice, but shapes them into articulate, well-crafted writers and thinkers who can use a variety of text types and audiences to articulate their ideas most effectively. I highly recommend going through the CWP experience!

My Alphabetized Existence by Shanie Armbruster

(based on The Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal)

Armbruster

It means crossbow in German. I like having a weapon for a last name. So many people pronounce it as Arm-buster which sounds like I’m an enforcer for the mafia. It makes me laugh.

Baking

Chocolate chip cookies were my favorite thing to make as a kid. I loved the taste of the cookie dough scraped off the beaters with my pointer finger. We had a cookie jar that my mom made when she was a potter, and I can still remember coming home from school, reaching in the jar and the heavenly first bite.

Cats

My mother is a cat person. We had a lot of cats growing up. Merlin, named after the magician, was my favorite, the long-hair,16 pound Maine Coon who disappeared for days at a time only to arrive at the door right at dinner time, meowing loudly to get in and be fed. Thus his name. I played too roughly with him, once, and he swatted me over both eyes, hard, with his claws retracted so I would get the message. I heard it loud and clear.

David

My brother’s best friend and my first French kiss on a winter night under a street lamp. I felt like a heroine from a foreign film – mature, beautiful, mysterious, weak in the knees. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with my tongue, but he didn’t mind. Continue reading