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.
Allegan: July 27-30: Grades 4-7 in Fall
at the Allegan Administration Building
Allendale: July 13-16: Grades 7-12 in Fall
at GVSU's Allendale (Main) Campus
Belding: July 13-16: Grades 3-6 in Fall
at Belding Middle School Media Center
Grand Rapids: July 6-9: Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12 in Fall
at GVSU's Pew (Downtown) Campus
Grand Rapids: July 20-23: Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12 in Fall
at GVSU's Pew (Downtown) Campus
Holland: July 27-30: Grades 4-6 in Fall
at GVSU's Holland Campus
Zeeland: July 13-16: Grades 4-6 in Fall
at New Groningen Elementary in Zeeland
Meet Our Teachers
Jill Annable (Allendale & Grand Rapids High School)
Mrs. Annable earned a bachelor's degree in English and Mathematics Education at Western Michigan University. She is in the process of completing her master's degree in Secondary Education at Grand Valley State University. Mrs. Annable teaches at Spring Lake Middle School in the English department, where she enjoys reading young adult literature and working on her own writing pieces alongside the young writers in her class. She is also a Teacher-Consultant with the Lake Michigan Writing Project. When time (and weather) permits, she enjoys taking walks with her husband and rowdy dog.
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.
Bethany Burnett (Allegan)
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.
Caroline Ernst (Allendale & Grand Rapids High School)
Mrs. Ernst earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Mathematics Education and a Master’s in Educational Leadership at Grand Valley State University. Mrs. Ernst teaches at Grandville High School in the English Department, where she is excited to guide young adults on their journeys in reading and writing and collaborate with colleagues on best practices of teaching. She is also a Teacher-Consultant with the Lake Michigan Writing Project. Outside of school, she collaborates with her husband to raise two children. In her (little bit of) free time, she enjoys reading (surprise!) and scrapbooking.
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.
Tracy Horodyski (Grand Rapids Elementary)
Mrs. Horodyski is a graduate of Grand Valley State University. Go Lakers! She currently teaches at Zinser Elementary School in Kenowa Hills. Mrs. Horodyski loves to spend time with her family and friends and enjoys being active: running, hiking, roller blading, biking, swimming, golfing, dancing and going to the beach. And, of course, she always finds it a pleasure to have some quiet time to read and write!
Becky Kooi (Grand Rapids High School)
Mrs. Kooi earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology at William Tyndale College and then acquired her teaching certificate in English and Psychology from Saginaw Valley State University. In 2011, she completed a master’s degree in Counseling at Spring Arbor University. Mrs. Kooi teaches English and Psychology at Cedar Spring High School, where she enjoys writing creatively along with students and listening to their unique voices. She is also a Teacher-Consultant with the Lake Michigan Writing Project. In her free time, she enjoys vacationing with family, reading, and mentoring youth in various clubs.
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.
Mary Shannon (Zeeland)
Mrs. Shannon received her bachelor's degree from Grand Valley State University and her master's degree from Michigan State University. She currently teaches fifth grade at Lincoln Elementary in Zeeland and is also a teacher consultant for the Lake Michigan Writing Project. She lives in Holland with her family. When she is not teaching, Mrs. Shannon enjoys
walking with her husband and hanging out with her family. She also loves to read and write at various coffee shops and at her family's cabin.
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.