Geoff Gevalt

Geoffrey Gevalt -- Founder, executive director.

Geoff (gg) was a journalist for 33 years at several daily newspapers in New England and Ohio, a weekly business newspaper in Boston, a financial magazine in New York City and the Associated Press in Baltimore.

Most recently he was managing editor of The Burlington Free Press, Vermont's largest daily.

Geoff has won numerous awards as a writer and editor and served for two years as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes in Beat Reporting. His specialty was narrative investigative projects.

He has been on the executive boards of New England Newspaper Association, New England Society of Newspaper Editors, New England AP Newspaper Association, Vermont Press Association and Leadership Champlain.

Geoff conceived and began YWP in 2003 with the assistance of teachers from the Vermont chapter of the National Writing Project.

In 2006, with a seed grant from the Vermont Business Roundtable, he incorporated YWP as an independent 501(c)3 corporation with a mission of buidling generations of better writers. YWP is now in its fifth year.

Geoff lives in Hinesburg with his wife, Ginny. They have three children who like to make things.

the letter

June 19, 2009
Benson Village School
32 School St.
Benson, VT05743

To Who It May Concern:

I am writing this letter as a recommendation concerning the ballad project in which my students were fortunate to participate. We applied through the Young Writer’s Project, a website which encourages student writing. Our school community is small and the students consider themselves as not significant compared to a larger population school. They were thrilled to be chosen to participate in the ballad project – and taken aback. When Pete Sutherland and Geoff Gevalt visited our school, the reality of the work to be done set in. They investigated the history of Lake Champlain since we are on the bottom tip of it. They interviewed some elderly but spry people in the community and became proud of where they lived and then began to understand the history of their town. When the collaboration process began, they found a respect for each other’s writing and learned things about themselves as writers and students.

The final project was decided upon and included the history of Lake Champlain as seen through one community member’s eyes. She is 91 and has lived her whole life at Benson Landing. Pete was wonderful in honoring the students work and yet piecing together a ballad that had rhythm, told a story and was a culmination of the 8th graders work. It debuted at our annual Memorial Day program.

I highly recommend this program as a way to inspire students to write and gain self-esteem, to improve community pride and to learn that the story of even one individual in their town makes a difference.

Mary Gunn
Schoolwide Teacher