San Ramon | 06/17/2019-06/28/2019
Neil Armstrong Elementary
2849 Calais Drive, San Ramon, CA 94583
06/17/2019 – 06/28/2019 (M-F, 9am – 3pm)
Supervised play available 8am-9am and 3pm-6pm for an additional charge.
Adventures in Writing Camp is excited to come to Neil Armstrong Elementary this summer with all new curriculum! This location will have first grade, elementary, and middle school programs! Our team of credentialed teachers, musicians and college students is ready to help new campers build confidence and fall in love with writing, and help returning campers continue to develop as writers!
As a note, we group campers by grade level. If your child is attending with a friend and they are entering the same grade, they will be grouped together.
MEET THE TEAM
Haley Walker, Site Administrator
This is Haley Walker's fourth summer with Adventures in Writing Camp! She is a Third grade teacher at All Saints Elementary in Hayward. In her free time she loves to write, read, eat tacos, and play the banjo! She is so excited to spend another fun-filled summer at Adventures in Writing Camp this year!
Alicia Bell, Assistant Site Administrator
Alicia is a lover of books, nature, and photography.
When she is not spending her free time reading young adult dystopian novels (The Mindjack Series is a MUST read for lovers of this genre), she is out traveling around the Bay Area taking landscape photos and being one with the outdoors.
As a newcomer to Adventures in Writing Camp, Alicia brings her experience as an after school program instructor and summer camp director where she was able to create a fun and engaging environment for elementary and middle school-aged children. She has always worked in the education field and enjoys watching and supporting the academic and social development of the children she works with.
Alicia received her master’s in healthcare administration from California State University, East Bay. She loves using her degree to inspire children and young adults to become leaders who know how to effectively communicate whether it be verbally or written. Alicia hopes to build confidence in each and every child she interacts with this summer!
Richard Heiman, Writing Ranger
Richard Manly (Rick) Heiman, aka Ranger Rick, has worked in public, charter and private school education for ten years. He has also worked with gifted students ages 9-18 as a summer instructor in a variety of subjects--including writing! This is his second summer with Adventures in Writing. He holds an MFA in Writing and his been published by literary journals in ten countries. Ranger Rick's personal creative writing focus is on poetry and short fiction. He loves coaching young writers to develop their writing skills. As you can probably tell, he loves horses too. He looks forward to finding a horse slow enough that he can write some new cowboy poetry in the saddle! Yee-haw! And Ranger Rick is definitely looking forward to camp!
Amy Smoller, Writing Ranger (1st Grade)
When she first stepped onto the shuttle bus that took her from the US State Department to Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, little did she know what excitement lay ahead. Although she originally wanted to pursue a teaching career in German, she received her Master’s Degree and Multiple Subject Credential in Education and later her Single Subject Social Studies Credential. She has taught nearly every subject and grade in the San Ramon Unified School District for more than 27 years. Fortunately, circuitously, although the German language was no longer being taught in most schools, she did finally get the opportunity to become a tutor. Growing up, her favorite dinosaur was always the Thesaurus. Her passion for teaching writing comes from having professional writers as parents. As thesaurophiles, they imparted the joy and value of finding the perfect word for the perfect moment. Amy often entered her stories in writing contests, and on occasion she even won! Of course, she had many exciting experiences to draw from, including her bit parts in two major Hollywood films while living in Vienna, Austria. Years later, while in graduate school, she was given the honor of presenting her research paper on reading acquisition at the National Reading Conference in Palm Springs. A return AIW Ranger, Amy is a mother of three amazing young men, with a passion for live music, camping and the outdoors, hiking, biking, and travel. She lives in Oakland where she enjoys the beautiful Lake Merritt with its abundance of happy people. Currently, she is busy working on her next project: her plan to take the thesaurus off of the endangered list.
Shaye Blegen, Writing Ranger (Middle School)
Shaye Blegen is an English teacher who loves to write! She is originally from Rio Vista, California, and spent much of her childhood in the pastures of her grandmother’s farm in the Montezuma Hills. Shaye has five years of middle and high school teaching experience and she cannot wait to share her passion for writing with campers! She holds a Master’s Degree in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her students have written everything from oral histories, to folktales, to magical realism. She and her ninth-grade students even published a book of their own original essays! In her free time, Shaye loves to bake, dance, read, and play fetch with her sister’s dog, Rue.
Sunny Dawn Shiner, Entertainment Ranger
Sunny has been a proud parent and educator for over 12 years! When she was in school her favorite thing to do was writing! She was in Book Club and now even enjoys blogging. Sunny and her oldest teenage daughter enjoy reading each other's published stories. Her youngest daughter is 2 years old and is learning to love books like the rest of the family. Sunny is so excited to be a part of leading Albany Adventures in Writing Camp and she can't wait to see the campers' amazing ideas! When she is not spending time writing or engaging in education, Sunny loves snowboarding in the winter and camping in the summer. Sunny's favorite place to camp is near the Redwoods and she can't wait to meet the campers this summer!
Archana Palanivelu, Adventure Guide (Counselor)
My name is Archana Palanivelu, I’m from San Ramon and currently study at San Diego State University. While I love sunny San Diego, the Bay Area is where my heart is at. I love writing, particularly creative writing. Growing up, one of my favorite hobbies was to write stories and if you walked into my room you would probably find me scribbling about the most random things. I find working with kids to be immensely enjoyable and rewarding, which is why tutoring was the best part of volunteer work that I did in high school. I believe writing is an important and useful skill that often goes underemphasized. It is important to reinforce writing skills in an engaging way and I believe that Adventures in Writing Camp is a great source for that!
Claire Inman, Adventure Guide (Counselor)
Claire Inman loves reading and writing! She is especially skilled at story telling, for she can make any type of dialect come to life! Claire is an upcoming junior at UC Davis, and is double majoring in Psychology and History. Therefore, she not only has the knowledge and skill sets to make reading and writing comprehensible, but also has her own creative ways to make reading and writing fun! Claire has years of experience in designing her own games and activities for elementary school students, for in high school she conducted her own running group for elementary student athletes. Claire knows how to bring out the best in each student she works with, for she takes the time to get to know everyone she works with personally in order to bring out their best selves! Through college, she has fallen more in love with reading and writing as she has taken countless courses in social science subjects for her double major preparation. When she does not have her nose in a book, Claire can be found adventuring through the mountains and beaches of Northern California!