Berkeley, CA, June 15, 2017 — This summer, more than 3,000 teachers committed to improving the writing of the country's K-12 students will work face-to-face and in online communities to share and learn new ways to teach writing, engage colleagues, and enhance their leadership through the National Writing Project (NWP). NWP programs serving educators and students in all 50 states feature a wide range of content and approaches, anchored in improving writing and learning for today's young people. Strategies include collaborative work on argument writing in the NWP College, Career, and Community Writing Program (C3WP) Advanced Institutes, and High-Need School professional development programs tailored for teachers in high-need schools, and envisioning how to use writing to get students to participate more fully in civic life. At the beginning of the next school year, these NWP teacher-leaders will share new tools, strategies, and ideas gleaned from weeks of learning and collaborating with other instructors, librarians, and community educators with their students and peers.
"Everywhere in the nation, we are asking our teachers to take on the vital challenges of preparing young people for rapidly changing civic, political, and work environments," said Dr. Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, NWP executive director. "NWP's local Writing Project sites serve as locally directed hubs for professional development activities and youth opportunities during the summer and throughout the year."
Eighty local Writing Project sites will hold Advanced Institutes and provide professional development in High-Need Schools, expanding the range of C3WP. The goal of the program is to assure more teachers have the ability to support students as they participate in college, career, and community, with a specific emphasis on writing arguments based on nonfiction texts, a skill every young adult needs. In one of the largest and most rigorous studies of teacher professional development, SRI International, an independent research firm, found that this program had a positive, statistically significant impact on student writing.
Additionally, the third cohort of LRNG Innovators grantees will begin projects that help young people spark their interests and ignite passions. In collaboration with NWP and LRNG, ten teacher-led teams will develop, pilot, and share promising strategies and solutions to see beyond classroom walls to a future where learning knows no bounds or borders. Throughout the design process, these educators will benefit from NWP's deep experience supporting teacher leadership through local and national networks.
Beyond these national initiatives, Writing Project sites are engaged in a range of programs stemming from local work and connections in their service areas. These include Invitational Leadership Institutes, partnerships with nearby National Park Service units, youth writing programs, study groups and workshops, collaborations with libraries and museums, and an assortment of other opportunities.
Following the summer activities, NWP teachers will be part of a growing national network of teacher-leaders and "educator innovators." They will continue to collaborate in person and online, and to benefit from the knowledge of other educators and partners.