Check back in February for our 2017 Laker Writing Camp offerings and online registration!
The Lake Michigan Writing Project is proud to announce our annual Laker Writing Camps! For one week, your future novelist, poet, or journalist will have the chance to explore the wonders of writing with some of West Michigan’s finest teachers!
Our Laker Writing Camps offers students an opportunity to explore many styles of writing in a fun environment. With students returning each morning to the exciting environment, students participate in activities that create a community of writers and provide nurturing support for developing authors. To prompt writing, campers and facilitators may travel from their camp site to various age-appropriate places of interest, learning and inspiration.
Teachers plan writing activities that build confidence while providing the writing tools that inspire creative thinking and author’s craft. Campers write a variety of pieces such as poems, autobiographical sketches, short stories, and nature observations while engaging in the writing process of drafting, revising, responding and editing. Finally, each camper will choose a piece of his or her writing for publication in the camp anthology.
The Laker Writing Camp is an outreach effort of the LMWP to encourage and nurture young writers. Our staff consists of Lake Michigan Writing Project Teacher-Consultants who have been identified as outstanding teachers of writing and nurturing role models for our campers.
Allendale: July 25-28: Grades 7-12 in Fall (8:30 am - 12:30 pm)
at GVSU's Allendale (Main) Campus
Belding: June 20-23: Grades 3-7 in Fall (8:30 am - 12:30 pm)
at Belding Middle School Media Center
Grand Rapids: June 27-30: Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12 in Fall (8:30 am - 12:30 pm)
at GVSU's Pew (Downtown) Campus
Grand Rapids: July 11-14: Grades 3-5 and Grades 6-8 in Fall (8:30 am - 12:30 pm)
at GVSU's Pew (Downtown) Campus
Holland: August 1-4: Grades 4-6 in Fall (8:30 am - 12:30 pm)
at GVSU's Holland Campus
Plainwell: July 18-21: Grades 4-6 in Fall (8:30 am - 12:30 pm)
at Starr Elementary Media Center
Meet Our Teachers (camps they are leading this summer)
Jill Annable (Grand Rapids High School)
Mrs. Annable holds a bachelor's degree in English and Mathematics Education from Western Michigan University and a master's degree in Secondary Education Curriculum and Instruction from Grand Valley State University. She taught ELA and Mathematics at Spring Lake Middle School for nine years and is currently teaching English at West Catholic High School in Grand Rapids. She enjoys reading and writing alongside her students. As a Teacher Consultant with the Lake Michigan Writing Project, she has been leading writing camps since 2009. She lives in Grand Rapids with her husband and two young children.
Mary Barrett (Grand Rapids Elementary)
Mrs. Barrett is a kindergarten teacher at Glenwood Elementary in the Kentwood Public School district. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Grand Valley State University, both with an emphasis on Language Arts. She has a passion for instilling a love of learning and literacy in young readers and writers. Mrs. Barrett has presented at numerous conferences on topics regarding early literacy, particularly in the field of writing. Mrs. Barrett is also a teacher consultant with the Lake Michigan Writing Project. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, dancing, and spending time with her husband and cats.
Amy Bean (Grand Rapids Elementary)
Mrs. Bean is a third grade teacher in Rockford. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education at California State University, Fresno. She earned her master’s degree in Reading at Grand Valley State University. Mrs. Bean is a Teacher-Consultant with the Lake Michigan Writing Project as well as the Region 3 Representative on the Michigan Reading Association’s board of directors. Mrs. Bean has taught elementary students for 24 years and has loved every minute! When she is not at school, Mrs. Bean enjoys spending time with her three beautiful daughters and her wonderful husband, reading, writing and baking.
Ben Bailey (Grand Rapids Middle School)
Mr. Bailey teachers at Northern Trails in Forest Hills. He earned his B.S. in Journalism from Grand Valley State University. He spent several years as a freelance writer/photographer. His writing and technological skills were used when he worked several years as a writer, copy editor, page designer, and assistant sports editor. After several years, Mr. Bailey then completed the Graduate Teaching Certification at Grand Valley in elementary education. The outdoor lover later received his Masters (Education) from Grand Valley. He has been teaching sixth-grade for eight years. He teaches Reading, Language Arts, and Science. Mr. Bailey became a Lake Michigan Teacher Consultant in 2013. When away from school, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons, camping, fishing, or running.
Heather Brewer (Allendale)
Mrs. Brewer earned her bachelor's degree in English and French Education from Northern Michigan University and a master's degree in Secondary Education Curriculum and Instruction from Marygrove College. She has taught English and French at Spring Lake Middle School for 11 years. As a Teacher Consultant with the Lake Michigan Writing Project, she has led several Advanced Institutes in writing for teachers. She is excited to work with students this summer. Personally, she enjoys writing memoirs, poetry, and short stories above all else. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing with her two young children, and spending time with her husband.
Bethany Burnett (Plainwell)
Mrs. Burnett attended Michigan State University for her English and teaching degrees. She has a Master's Degree in Teacher and Curriculum from Michigan State University and is currently working on a second Master's in Educational Leadership. Mrs. Burnett teaches 5th grade at Dawson Elementary School in Allegan and is a Teacher-Consultant with the Lake Michigan Writing Project. In her free time, she enjoys mountain biking, running, walking her dog and spending time with her husband and three young children.
Kerrie DeBoer (Grand Rapids Elementary)
Ms. DeBoer has been happily teaching for 26 years. She has taught middle school, 6th grade, 5th grade, 3rd grade, and 1st grade. She is currently teaching her favorite grade level, first, at Collins Elementary. Ms. DeBoer graduated with her Bachelors Degree in Education from the University of Michigan. She has a Masters from Western Michigan University and continues coursework through GVSU. Ms. DeBoer enjoys spending time at home with her two teenagers. She escapes in books, writing, yoga, and traveling to the mountains.
Leanne Feuerstein (Belding)
Mrs. Feuerstein attended Central Michigan University for her undergraduate work, and is currently finishing her Masters in Reading through Grand Valley State University. She teaches 4th Grade at Woodview Elementary in Belding, and has for the last 6 years. Mrs. Feuerstein and her husband have a 2 year old daughter, and are currently awaiting the arrival of baby number two. Mrs. Feuerstein and her husband enjoy going to Michigan Football games every fall her hobbies in her spare time are: spending time with her family, reading, writing, playing golf and walking.
Terri Fortmeyer (Grand Rapids Middle School & Holland)
Mrs. Fortmeyer attended Liberty University (Music Education) and then received her Bachelor's degree (Language Arts/Elementary Education) and her Master's degree (Reading) at Grand Valley State University. She teaches third grade at North Muskegon Elementary and enjoys collaborating with others as a Teacher-Consultant with the Lake Michigan Writing Project. In her free time, she enjoys music, playing keyboard with her church's worship team and gospel jazz group, reading, writing, baking, and traveling with her husband and family.
Ingrid Fournier (Grand Rapids Elementary)
Mrs. Fournier went to James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA for her bachelor's degree. She then got her Masters in Education from the University of Michigan after serving two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the West Indies. Mrs. Fournier currently teaches in Forest Hills Public Schools 5th Grade, Northern Trails, in the Spanish Immersion program. In her free time, she loves to travel, read, and write.
Catherine Hellmann (Plainwell)
Catherine Hellmann has been a middle school Language Arts teacher in Allegan for the past ten years. Prior to that, she taught for thirteen years in Chicago Public Schools and led tours at Wrigley Field for eleven years. She has taught academically accelerated students, remedial students, K-8, art, and a gifted science-literature class. As a Reading/Writing Curriculum Coordinator, she organized the Young Authors Program, was a coach for Academic Olympics, directed musicals, moderated a faculty book club, and invited visiting poets, playwrights, and authors to her school; Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Gwendolyn Brooks once nicknamed her “Sassy.” Ms. Hellmann is a consistent grant winner, a LMWP teacher-consultant, and has attended numerous teacher workshops through the National Endowment for the Humanities, a favorite being at Ellis Island. Her undergraduate degree is in opera; her Master’s is in English Education from Miami of Ohio. When not teaching, she is a barista at Mug shots Coffee Shop in Allegan or probably at a theater in Chicago, Kalamazoo, or New York.
Jan Lamborne (Belding)
Mrs. Lamborne received her Masters Degree from Central Michigan University, in fact, her husband and three children are also CMU grads. She teaches first grade at Ellis Elementary School in Belding. She loves spending time with her family and is fortunate enough to have her children and grandchildren living close to her. Some of Mrs. Lamborne's favorite things to do are reading, writing, spending time in her garden, going for walks, bike rides and enjoying her friends.
Lynn Patrick (Grand Rapids Middle School & Holland)
Mrs. Patrick earned her B.A. in Education with a writing emphasis from GVSU in 1995. She began her teaching career at Reeths-Puffer Public Schools in 1995 teaching third grade. Upon completion of her first Master's Degree in Reading with a K-12 Reading Endorsement in 1999 and a Reading Specialist certification, she left the classroom and became a district Reading Specialist for 7 years During this assignment, Mrs. Patrick completed her second Master's Degree in Educational Leadership in 2003. In 2008, she decided to return to the classroom and has taught first grade ever since. For two of those years, she taught a multiage first/second grade split. Mrs. Patrick attended the Lake Michigan Writing Project Summer Institute in 2012. She became a Lake Michigan Teacher Consultant in 2012 and is active in teaching reading and writing outside of the classroom as well. In her down time, Mrs. Patrick enjoys spending time with her husband and family, taking long walks with friends, boating, writing children's stories, and reading great books.
Kirstin Sharma (Grand Rapids Middle School)
Kirstin Sharma has a bachelors for Aquinas College that focused in Social Studies, Poetry and ELA. She received her masters from Grand Valley State University in curriculum development and differentiation. Ms. Sharma is also a writing consultant through Lake Michigan Writing Project. Ms. Sharma loves to travel and has been to over 20 countries and has even taught in the National Schools in Ireland. She enjoys camping and the outdoors, and playing competitive soccer. Also, Ms. Sharma always enjoys being creative by refinishing furniture and tackling a good knitting project. Ms. Sharma currently teaches 6th grade in Forest Hills Public Schools.
Anne Waldie (Allendale & Grand Rapids High School)
Mrs. Waldie graduated with honors from Grand Valley State University, where she received her B.A. in English, B.A. in German, and M.Ed in Educational Leadership. She currently teaches a variety of English classes and serves as the English Department Chair for Grandville High School, and is finishing her fourteenth year of being an educator. In her free time she can be found reading, writing, watching movies, testing out five-star recipes she finds online, wishing she had a green thumb, and spending time with her daughter and husband. As a 2009 LMWP Fellow, she is thrilled to return to the Lake Michigan Writing Project to lead writing camps this summer and to meet and be inspired by young writers!