Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Young Writers Program

Q: What is the Young Writers Program?

A: The Young Writers Program is a partnership between the Santa Cruz County Office of Education and Santa Cruz Writes to provide students with personalized assistance from volunteers (Writing Project Assistants) on writing projects at the
direction of classroom teachers.

Q: How does the program work?
A: Teachers request support for a particular project and time frame. Writing Project Assistants (volunteers) are recruited and trained. Then an orientation meeting is scheduled between the teacher and the writing assistants. Typically three to five volunteers work in the teacher’s classroom while the teacher is in the room.

Q: What schools are or can be involved?
A: Any school operating in the public school sector throughout Santa Cruz County is eligible. The specific schools involved depends on the teachers who choose to participate.

Q: Who are the Writing Assistant volunteers? Will they be trained?
A: Writing Assistants are retired teachers, local writers, UCSC students and others who are committed to helping students express themselves through writing. All volunteers participate in an introductory training. Additional training is offered throughout the year on specific topics such as Working with English Language Learners and Working with the Reluctant Writer.

Q: When did the Young Writers Program begin?
A: The program began in September 2012. During the 2012-2013 school year the program served 170 students in seven county classrooms. Teachers involved in the program have reported having positive experiences and often continue their projects or start new ones.

Q: What kind of publications are produced?
A: Publications depend on the teacher-defined projects. Examples of publications include books, newsletters, chapbooks (tape bound spines) and posters.

Q: Who is Santa Cruz Writes?
A: Santa Cruz Writes is a local non-profit dedicated to promoting the literary arts and helping writers of all ages find their voices. Programs include the Love Letters Project and phren-Z, an online literary magazine for Santa Cruz County. For more information see www.santacruzwrites.org and www.phren-z.org.If you have a writing project that would benefit from small group support, know someone who would make a great volunteer, or can recommend a group that might help support the work of the Young Writers Program, please contact julia@santacruzwrites.org.