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Writing project volunteer grows with program
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Jerry Schossow is working on putting together the website for the Great Valley Writing Project. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT/The Bulletin
About three years ago, Jerry Schossow made the mistake of volunteering his service to learn the production side of the Great Valley Writing Project.

“It may have been the best mistake I’ve ever made,” he said Tuesday at the San Joaquin County Office of Education’s Goodwin Community School  on North Main Street in Manteca.

Schossow is the computer technician for the writing and technology workshops made possible by California State University, Stanislaus and SJCOE.

He’s also the go-to guy in putting together the website consisting of the writings by Manteca, Ripon and Lathrop students involved in the summer programs.

“Kids enjoy (the GVWP),” Schossow said. “It helps that they want to be here.”

GVWP is a state-chartered nonprofit organization that works to improve the learning and achievement of students by improving the teaching of writing.

Schossow, who is a student at San Joaquin Delta College, has been part of the GVWP since 2007. When he received word that help was needed in putting together the online production, he jumped at the opportunity.

“At the time, I was the oldest student in the program,” said Schossow, who is a 2009 graduate of Manteca High.

He also credited the training he received from the Regional Occupational Program computer class at Lindbergh Educational Center for his development in the field.

In addition to his work on the website, Schossow handles computer repairs along with some tutoring for the GVWP.

He has other site jobs to keep him busy.

According to coordinator Melissa King, Schossow may have found a career along the way thanks in part to the GVWP.

“I’ve seen Jerry grow as a person in the past three years,” she said.

The last of the three consecutive summer workshops concluded last week. King, Schossow and others involved have had little rest in between the ones held at Ripon High, Woodward School, and the Goodwin Community School.

“I’m just getting started,” Schossow said. “The tough part is yet to come.”

He’ll be compiling and posting the efforts of students for the online production.

GVWP operates with the support of public and private grants, relying on a strong network of skilled and experienced educators who recognize that teachers are the key to educational reform.