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National Writing Project site hosts successful youth literacy event

ISSUED: 14 June 2024

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WVShepherd University’s National Writing Project (NWP) site welcomed elementary school students and teachers to its “Writing in Wonderland” event on May 18.

The event, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, consisted of various activity stations across the McMurran Hall lawn.

From creating “cut and paste” contemporary poetry to making their own book covers for the children’s classic, the young students learned about various literary concepts and cultivated their creative writing skills.

Elementary school students participate in a Cheshire Cat-themed activity on the McMurran Hall lawn.

Students each received a notebook and a copy of Alice in Wonderland, so they could continue practicing reading and writing after the event.

Educators and parents were also provided with lesson plans and activities to continue supporting the students’ education in literacy.  

Shepherd University English lecturers Valerie Stevens and Sadie Shorr-Parks in the Department of English, History, and Modern Languages organized the “Writing in Wonderland” event. Other department volunteers included Dr. Brian Santana, assistant professor of English and NWP site director, Beth Tevault, lecturer of English, and Dr. Heidi Hanrahan, professor of English. Elizabeth Sutherland from Shepherdstown Elementary School also supported the event.

This free event was made possible by the Write Way grant. Shepherd University’s NWP site plans to host similar events designed for young students and those who are dedicated to furthering their education in the future.

For more information about Shepherd’s National Writing Project site, visit

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