National Writing Project

Students Inspired by "Writing Our Lives" Conference Organized by Connecticut Writing Project–Fairfield

Publication: Fairfield Sun
Date: May 25, 2013

Summary: More than 115 Bridgeport students had the opportunity to attend this day-long conference with workshops on a variety of writing disciplines. Author and founder of Book-in-a-Day, Kwame Alexander, was the keynote speaker.

 

Excerpt from Article

CWP Director Bryan Ripley Crandall, an assistant professor in Fairfield's Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions, organized the event.

'Students often want more opportunities to write in real-world ways,' Crandall said. 'But schools currently provide test-only instruction because of the demands of state assessments.'

He brought the program to Connecticut after collaborating with Marcelle Haddix at Syracuse University to host similar conferences in Syracuse, N.Y.

'Dr. Haddix and I wished to act on what young people were telling us and to give them more opportunities to have their voices heard,' Crandall said.

The Writing Our Lives-Bridgeport conference offered students several chances to be in charge of their learning, said Azaria Drakeford, an academic advisor from Yale-Bridgeport GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), who brought students to campus.

'We decided it was really important for them to come,' she said. 'It's not so much `this is an essay you have to write.' Instead, students chose sessions that interested them.'"

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Read "Aspiring Bridgeport teen writers find day of inspiration at Fairfield University" at Fairfield Sun .

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