Write Now!®

Heads Up! Early Learning Institute’s Write Now!® writing courses are designed to improve students’ skills in formal, informal, and creative writing. “Expository writing” addresses the types of writing done in school: news reports, letters, memos, pop quizzes, book reports, movie reviews, blogs, essays, and research reports. In addition, it includes the four major writing tests that are given to California students (“narrative,” “summary,” “response to literature,” and “persuasive”). Creative writing encourages self expression and, in general, encompasses the major creative forms: stories, poems, and plays. “Presentation Techniques” focuses on the development of public speaking skills, with a three-year cycle that includes three topics: presentation tools (“Posters and PowerPoints”), “Debate Skills,” and “Persuasion.”

The program is offered in two formats:

  • Intensive summer writing camps on our school campuses, and
  • Year-long weekly programs on other campuses.

The goals of both formats is the same: (1) to help students acquire excellent writing skills and (2) to encourage a love of writing in students. To facilitate the second goal, it is important that writing not be viewed as a painful chore; the vast majority of students tell us that they enjoy the classes and would recommend that their friends take them.

The writing courses begin with a review of sentence structure to verify that the students’ most basic skills are in place. We then move to the building blocks of all good writing: paragraphs. Using WriteNow!®’s copyrighted templates, students practice writing several different kinds of paragraphs: the classic five-sentence paragraph with a topic sentence, three supporting sentences, and a summary concluding sentence; variations on the classic that include both supporting and countering points; bullet-point paragraphs; and both introductory and concluding paragraphs. The third step is to proceed from writing strong paragraphs to combining them into outstanding essays and other literary forms.

All teachers are experienced Heads Up! Early Learning Institute staff members. Materials and exercises are designed and prepared by Charles D. Bernstein, Ph.D., executive director of the writing program and president of Early Learning Institute.

Call us today for more information or enroll below!


Every summer, Emerson School of Palo Alto and Hacienda School of Pleasanton open their doors and offer their innovative programs in a camp-like setting to outside students who want to share in the summer adventures.

Students will discuss film and music “texts,” produce a series of writing products in response to them, and respond to ideas and concepts our teachers introduce in conversation. At key points throughout the day our faculty will provide your child with individualized coaching in his/her thinking, conversing, writing, revising, and presentation skills.

All classes are 10:00AM to 4:00PM with care available 8:00AM to 6:00PM. A confirmation will be mailed upon receipt of application. The fee will be returned in the event that the program is full. Full refunds will be made for cancellations up to thirty days prior to the beginning of the program; no refunds will be made after that time, although Early Learning Institute will make every effort to transfer the enrollment to another date if space is available. To apply online, click the "Enroll Now" button above. Once on the application page, select "Write Now!," the campus, and the courses.

For more information please contact us at writenow@headsup.org

Three courses will be offered in the summer of 2020:

Presentation Skills

This year, (subtitled “Posters and PowerPoints”) develops students’ analytical, public speaking, and sales skills, with emphases on planning, outlining, and crafting consistent messages based on emotional, logical, and ethical appeals.
Emerson School
July 20 - July 24
Hacienda School
July 13 - July 17

Creative Writing

This week concentrates on a variety of literary forms (e.g., stories, poems, journals, plays, autobiographies, letters), and authentic self expression, with special attention paid to descriptions of character, setting, and action, and writing mechanics.
Emerson School
July 13 - July 17
Hacienda School
July 27 - July 31

Expository Writing

This week-long course focuses on the four subjects of the California Writing Tests, prose forms used in school assignments, the processes of selecting a topic and outlining the content, and writing mechanics (word choice, sentence structure, variety, etc.).
Emerson School
July 6 - July 10
Hacienda School
July 20 - July 24



Over the years, a number of courses have been offered, including “Creative Writing: Short Stories, Poems, and Plays/Screenplays,” “Literature,” and “Spelling.” At present, the course being offered during the academic year is “Fundamentals of Writing.” It is offered at two different levels: Lower Elementary (Grades 2-3) and Upper Elementary/Middle School (Grades 4-8), with the second level sometimes split into two different age groupings.


“Fundamentals of Writing” encompass 30 weeks of instruction and covers three general areas: (1) writing skills that apply to all writing, (2) exercises related to school-type writing (“expository writing”), and (3) assignments that encourage self expression. The types of writing done in school include: news reports, letters, memos, pop quizzes, book reports, movie reviews, blogs, essays, and research reports. In addition, it includes the four major writing tests that are given to California students (“narrative,” “summary,” “response to literature,” and “persuasive”). The last component, involving “creative writing” includes the major creative forms: stories, poems, and plays. The creative writing projects are always among the students’ favorite activities and help develop one of the critical inspiration of good writers, a love of writing.

Students are provided a class binder, all assignments, and a college-level writing text. At least 30 minutes of the typical class is dedicated to in-class writing by the students. A grammar point and a style point are covered as well. Finally, short homework projects of between 15 and 30 minutes are assigned. Of course, students are invited to write more than that for their own pleasure. At the end of the year, we publish a “literary review” with a work from every student.

“Fundamentals of Writing” courses are offered on two different campuses, with additional information available from each site:

San Ramon Valley Chinese School

(Saturdays, 9/12/15-5/21/16)

P.O. Box 282 San Ramon, CA 94583

Classes held at: Windermere Ranch Middle School

11611 East Branch Parkway, San Ramon





“I would recommend this course to a friend because it really improves one’s skill in writing and teaches useful skills that will be necessary later on in school.”

By Kyle, Summer ‘14

“I would definitely recommend this course to a friend. It is a great way to keep up with your school work during the

By Lauren, Summer ‘14

“My overall impression of this course is that it is fun and it is easy to learn from.”

By Ashton, Summer ‘14

“I personally really liked this course. I told my mom about my day and she said she hadn’t heard me talk about how awesome my day was in a long time.”

By Samantha, Summer ‘14

“I would recommend this to a friend because they could get bored at home but here you can learn more.”

By Tenzin, Summer ‘14

“I would recommend this course to friends even if they hate writing because it is fun and great to learn.”

By William, Summer ‘14

“I would recommend this course to a friend because we get to do poems, short stories, and plays.”

By Samantha, Summer ‘14

"I would recommend this class to a friend, because it will help them become better writers."

By Summer ’16

"The writing cramp was fun and I learned a lot of new ways to write."

By Summer ’16

"I enjoyed writing on the essay topics. I wanted to improve my writing from 3 paragraphs to 5, and am able to do that now because of this class."

By Summer ’16

"Every part of the class was helpful. I learned a lot and will be a better writer from it."

By Summer ’16