The Monmouth University School of Education hosted its 5th annual Write On Sports camp July 29-Aug. 9 for local middle school students. A free, two-week summer day camp, Write On Sports works to foster literacy skills through sports journalism. This year also marked the first time the university hosted a separate camp July 8-19 in an exclusive partnership with the Asbury Park School District.
Alex Romagnoli, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Monmouth University, directed the camp which included activities like tours of the university, interviews with Monmouth alumni, athletes, and community members, as well as mock press conferences, story writing, and video production.
Between both camps, 23 students had the opportunity to interview and interact with notable sports figures and journalists. At the end of the two weeks, feature stories written by the students were compiled in a culminating project, Hawks Illustrated magazine. Small groups also produced video interviews, which were presented to friends and family on the last day of camp.
“The camp’s focus on improving literacy skills through the lens of sports journalism is important for students,” said Romagnoli. “However, another benefit of the program is the university experience the students receive over the two weeks. Not only are the students interacting with various sports personalities around Monmouth University’s campus, they are, for two weeks in the summer, embracing a university setting.”
Special guests of the camp included King Rice, the head men’s basketball coach at Monmouth University; Jack Ford, Emmy-Award winning journalist; Ron Kornegay ’69 ’74M, decorated Monmouth University basketball player and former head coach; Marilyn McNeil, current director of athletics at Monmouth; and Jerry Carino, news columnist for the Asbury Park Press, among others.
Monmouth University Life Trustee Paul Corliss is the primary benefactor of the university’s Write On Sports camp and was instrumental in developing the Monmouth affiliation.
“Year over year, I am continuously impressed with the level of talent the students bring to the camp,” said Corliss. “This program not only helps students sharpen their writing skills, but it also prepares them in areas like public speaking and helps build their confidence. It is truly amazing to witness the students’ progress after just a few weeks.”
Byron Yake, a former national sports editor with Associated Press, founded Write On Sports in 2005. It has since grown, taking place primarily on college campuses throughout the country including in New Jersey, Indiana, and Rhode Island.