National Writing Project

About National Reading Initiative

NWP's National Reading Initiative (NRI) supported local Writing Project sites in expanding their knowledge base about the teaching of reading and in developing high-quality programs, for teachers across the curriculum, that addressed reading comprehension as a companion to work in writing.

Through programs such as Advancing Literacy, NRI developed leadership for national and local work in reading, with a view toward expanding opportunities for teachers to participate in sustained, high-quality professional development in reading at writing project sites across the network.


  • To expand and develop the role of NWP as a professional development resource in the teaching of reading, as a companion to its role in the teaching of writing
  • To support local sites in expanding their knowledge about reading, the teaching of reading, and the nature of academic literacy across subject areas
  • To help sites develop and/or strengthen successful models for professional development in reading comprehension for teachers in grades 4–12, and to expand opportunities for teachers in content areas other than English/language arts.


Writing project leaders and teacher-consultants have long worked with issues of reading comprehension as they explored the reading-writing connection and the roles reading plays in helping students to become effective writers. However, renewed attention to reading itself led local writing project sites to seek to expand their understanding of new scholarship and practice in the teaching of reading.

In 2002, with the support of the Carnegie Corporation, NWP launched the first phase of its National Reading Initiative. From 2002 through 2006, nineteen writing project sites received support to study, refine, and expand their models for professional development in reading. The results of their work provided resources, models of local work, and insights into how sites can effectively integrate knowledge about reading into the fabric of their work.

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