National Writing Project

The Family Academic Literacy Project


In this 18-month project, six local Writing Project sites built teams to develop and implement The Family Academic Literacy Project in a range of ethnically, racially, and economically diverse geographic settings (urban and rural) with a focus on English Learners in high-need schools in grades K-3.

Writing Project sites received support and technical assistance to create locally viable designs for family academic literacy programs specifically tailored to their service areas. As participants in an active national program cohort, leaders from these sites designed, implemented, assessed, refined, and extended programming in partnership with local teachers, creating local models that can, eventually, extend throughout their service area.

Local participants joined a national network where they learned from national practitioners and research experts and inquired into research-tested designs. Thus, the network became a learning and inquiry community in which local designs were optimally informed by the best knowledge available. Local practitioners contributed their ideas back to the broader learner community.

NWP supported and studied the model, both in its design and in its implementation at the partner sites, provided feedback, designed reflection and documentation of the programs as they were developed and implemented. Through this work and community building, a community of practice of NWP K-3 teachers was built.


The goal of the 18-month project, funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan, was to improve early school success by developing academic literacy program models with a focus on English learners and their families.


  1. Invest in the professional development of peer leaders in six high needs elementary schools, leveraging investment in professional development in those schools and allowing them to extend their professional development in writing to include family academic literacy programs.
  2. Design and provide a national, cross-site learning institute for those six teams.
  3. Invest resources in local programming to implement on-the-ground family academic literacy experiences for families in their high needs schools.
  4. Develop a networked infrastructure to support cross-pollination and learning throughout the implementation and review phases of the local family academic literacy projects.
  5. Share local work in the larger NWP national network.

Participating Writing Project Sites

  • AZ Central Arizona Writing Project
  • CA San Jose Writing Project
  • IL Illinois Writing Project
  • OK Oklahoma Writing Project
  • SC Aiken Writing Project
  • WI Fox Valley Writing Project


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