Learn more about our exciting new creative writing program.
2Rs4fun! is an after-school and out-of-school creative writing program designed for 3rd and 4th graders. The program was initiated by Mary Dwyer, a retired teacher, in the Shelter Island School District in the Spring of 2008. Its official name is “The Intergenerational Enrichment Literacy Program,” and it aims to enhance the creative writing skills and literacy of the participating students.
We are thrilled to announce that through a collaborative effort between East End Arts, Southampton Youth Bureau, and the F.A.S.T program (Fun Activities with Snacks and Time for Homework), participating students from Riverhead’s Phillips Avenue Elementary School will have the chance to participate in this priceless program.
The primary goal of 2Rs4fun! is to develop the students’ understanding of how reading can improve their writing abilities. The program fosters originality of thought and expression in children’s writing, encouraging them to see themselves as authors and writers. The program operates in two sessions each year, one in the Fall and another in the Spring. Each session accepts 10 students from grades 3 and 4 after a thorough review of their applications and recommendations from their school faculty. A waiting list is maintained for students who are not accepted in a particular session.
The heart of 2Rs4fun! lies in its dedicated mentors who possess professional writing skills. These mentors work one-on-one with the students outside of the classroom, establishing strong relationships and nurturing the students’ self-esteem. They guide the children in building a solid foundation for their lifelong love of reading and writing. The program emphasizes listening to the children to assess their knowledge and potential. It encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, and the expression of creativity in writing. The mentor-student relationship is considered valuable, as it enriches both the student and the mentor, potentially maximizing the potential of the student while opening up an emotional world for the mentor.
Please note that we are always accepting mentor applications and donations for this program.
At the end of a session, the mentor and mentee often share their appreciation for each other through brief expressions. The program’s philosophy centers on encouraging freedom of topic choice and providing children with the opportunity to write as authentic writers. The program is highly regarded by both the children and the volunteer mentors, who bring it to life with their passion for literacy, writing, and working with children.
2Rs4fun! covers various literary themes in its sessions, including prose book talks, poetry, and reflections on artwork. Notable literature included in the program’s curriculum are books such as “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale” by John Steptoe, “Sarah Plain and Tall” by Patricia MacLachlan, and “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White. Additionally, selected poems by renowned poets like Christina Rossetti, Gwendolyn Brooks, John Ciardi, and Ogden Nash are studied and discussed.
The successful implementation of 2Rs4fun! requires dedicated volunteers, mentors, and funding. In the Shelter Island School District, the program’s costs were covered by The Shelter Island Educational Foundation, Lions Club, and the Library. The program’s staffing includes 10 volunteer mentors, 10 substitute volunteer mentors, a coordinator responsible for gathering information and setting the curriculum, a volunteer coordinator managing volunteer recruitment and substitutions, and a volunteer assistant coordinator handling resource materials and information sheets for each session.
Overall, 2Rs4fun! is a valuable program that promotes literacy, enhances creative writing skills, and fosters a love for reading and writing among 3rd and 4th grade students. Through the guidance of dedicated mentors and a focus on individualized attention, the program aims to empower children to see themselves as authors and writers, allowing them to express their creativity and develop their writing abilities.
Click the button below to fill out the parents’ application, specifically for Phillips Avenue 3rd and 4th grade parents:
Our mentors are an invaluable part of this essential program. You can volunteer as a mentor by submitting the application linked below: