Berkeley, CA, June 21, 2016 — This summer, more than 3,000 teachers 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). Programs in all 50 states include a wide range of content and approaches, anchored in improving writing and learning for today's young people, from collaborative work on argument writing in the NWP College-Ready Writers Program Advanced Institutes to helping students find their voice and be civically engaged through the Letters to the Next President 2.0 initiative. With these varied opportunities, NWP teacher-leaders gain new tools, strategies, and ideas gleaned from weeks of learning and collaborating with other instructors, librarians, and community educators.
"NWP teacher-leaders work to help their students to become better writers and learners," said Dr. Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, NWP executive director. "Our local Writing Project sites serve as hubs for a range of professional development activities and youth opportunities during the summer and throughout the year."
Over 50 local Writing Project sites will hold Advanced Institutes to scale up the NWP's College-Ready Writers Program (CRWP). The goal of the program is to assure more teachers have the ability to teach college- and career-ready writing—with a specific emphasis on writing arguments based on nonfiction texts; an important skill every young adult needs. In one of the largest and most rigorous studies about teacher professional development to find evidence of impact, a two-year random assignment evaluation from SRI International, an independent research firm, found that CRWP had a positive, statistically significant impact on student writing.
Additionally, NWP educators will be involved in Letters to the Next President 2.0 (L2P 2.0) , an initiative that empowers young people (13-18) to voice their opinions and ideas on the issues that matter to them in the coming election. Beginning in late summer, L2P 2.0 will host a massive, open online publishing platform where any educator or youth mentor can make space for students to voice their thinking about the issues that they believe the next president—whomever he or she may be—needs to address.
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 camps, study groups and workshops, collaborations with libraries and museums, and an assortment of other opportunities.