The freshmen and sophomore Creative Writers are invited to attend our second annual Penn Center Writers Retreat held at the Penn Center in Beaufort, South Carolina on March 19-21, 2014. The purpose of the trip is to introduce our students to natural wonders and amazing story-telling traditions of the surrounding Sea Islands, along with exposing them to racial history and the human condition.

There will be a parent information meeting on February 5 at 5:30 pm in room 4133 on the SOA campus. If your child is planning to participate in this year’s field trip, your attendance is required. If for any reason you are unable to make it, please contact me.

Our hope is that this year’s Writers Conference will enhance your child’s writing process and will also provide an opportunity for bonding, friendship and fun. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 529-4990.


Francis Rutledge Hammes

Creative Writing Teacher


–  Students will learn, practice and document the stages of the writing process.

–  Students will create written work that has a clear focus, sufficient detail, coherent organization and effective use of voice.

–  Students will learn about the Civil Rights Movement and race relations.

–  Students will learn about Gullah and Sea Island history, its folklore and rich story-telling tradition.

–  Students will learn to work as a group in order to improve individual writing skills.

COST, etc.

SOA teachers Sean Scapellato, Rutledge Hammes, Rene Miles and Beth Webb Hart will be our chaperones. Our bus service will be provided by our school’s activity bus. The total price of the trip is $250, which covers food, lodging and transportation. Several $50-$100 scholarships will be given to students who demonstrate need and explain how the trip will benefit them. Scholarship Applications, which can be found in this packet, are due on February 3, 2014 with the full payment and paperwork.


We will depart from school at 7am on March 19. Please arrive at 6:30am sharp so that we can load the bus and depart on time. If we do not depart on time, our group will not be served lunch at the Penn Center. Each student will be allowed only one small bag. We will return to the school on March 21 around 4pm; your child will call you on the way home if we are going to arrive at a different time.


February 5

Parent Information Meeting (5:30 pm sharp at SOA)*

First Payment ($150) due

CCSOA Behavior Contract due

Emergency Contact Information Sheet due

SOA Medical Information Form due

Permission Slip due

Copy of Health Insurance Card (front and back) due

February 19

Second Payment ($100) due

(Due to the small number of students attending this trip, refunds cannot be given if your student is unable to attend.)

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