Friday morning was unlike any other Friday morning for Woodland Hills Elementary (WHE) fourth-graders. As they rushed to get ready for school, reading and math were the farthest things from their minds. Unbeknownst to them, their teachers felt the same way. The only thing that mattered was Writing! Friday, Feb. 18 kicked off the week both students and teachers had waited for all year long – Camp Writealotta! Camp Writealotta began four years ago as an idea to help the students prepare for the Writing TAKS as well as to alleviate the stress it brought to many. It began with a few decorations and camping experiences to write about. The teachers realized what potential Camp Writealotta possessed and wrote a grant to the Humble ISD Education Foundation. Not only was the grant chosen, it was fully funded. The following year the grant was again submitted and again chosen. This time a visit from author, Doris Fischer, was added to the students' experience. This year a hidden blessing came to WHE when the grant was not funded. No matter what, Camp Writealotta was going to continue for the fourth-graders. Staff and teachers pulled together and, with the help of Scott Tate Photography, an idea emerged. Scott Tate generously volunteered to take pictures for "Cookies with Santa" at WHE and donate all proceeds back to the school. Teachers, students and parents rallied together and set up a parents' Christmas Dream. Cookies and milk, movies and activities kept families entertained as they waited their chance to sit upon Santa's lap and share their secret wishes. The community's generosity continued with the donation of water bottles for each fourth-grade camper by Mr. and Mrs. Hood, grandparents of fourth-grader Jake Speer, as well as the gift of individual camp bags for the campers by the family of 4th grader Timothy Tristan. Additionally, 20-plus parent volunteers helped out at Rivergrove Park for the Camp Writealotta Kickoff. WHE expressed thanks to the Humble ISD Education Foundation for helping get this dream for these kids off the ground, and also the WHE community for keeping the dream alive. Pictured: In preparation for TAKS, Woodland Hills Elementary fourth-graders participated in a week-long writing camp – Camp Writealotta.

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