National Writing Project

Rural Sites Network Resources

Featured Resources

Why Rural Matters 2011-2012: The Condition of Rural Education in the 50 States

Rural School and Community Trust Policy Program, February 2012
This sixth report in a biennial research series by the Rural School and Community Trust Policy Program explores the "conditions of rural education in each of the 50 states and call[s] attention to the need for policymakers to address rural education issues in their respective states." More ›

Book Review: Storytelling for Social Justice

January 2011
Erin Wilkey
Lee Anne Bell introduces the Storytelling Project model, a compelling antiracist curriculum designed to enable reflective and critical conversations about race and racism by examining the stories we tell. More ›

Indian Education for All: Grounded in Place and Culture

May 2010
Paul Epstein
In Maine and Montana, Writing Project sites are exploring how to help teachers implement state laws regarding Indian education and improve the writing of Native American learners. More ›


Additional Resources

Resilience: Overcoming Adversity and Thriving

October 2009
The resources collected here illustrate approaches to teaching and curriculum that support the power of resilience for young people striving to learn in adverse situations. More ›

Writing Improves African American Students' Grades

Science Daily, January 2010
This article describes research that supports the claim that targeted psychological intervention, in the form of writing that encourages self-affirmation, has the effect of improving the academic performance of African American students. More ›

Book Review: Why School? Reclaiming Education for All of Us

February 2010
Tanya N. Baker
Reviewer Tanya Baker describes Mike Rose's book as a way toward restarting "a public conversation about the hopeful vision, the possibility, inherent in our nation's public schools." More ›

Rural Leaders, Rural Places: Problem, Privilege, and Possibility

May 2008
Kathleen Budge
Kathleen Budge reveals the disconnect between educators' feelings of privilege residing in a rural community and problems they see for their students in these communities. She calls for "critical leadership of place" based on awareness of this paradox. More ›

Honoring Dialect and Culture: Pathways to Student Success on High-Stakes Writing Assessments

English Journal, March 2007
Michelle Crotteau
When a speaker of Appalachian English fails the state's writing assessment, Michelle Crotteau, a teacher-consultant with the Central Virginia Writing Project, demonstrates that appropriate strategies and respect for home language allows for both authentic writing and successful test preparation. More ›

Bibliography: Whiteness Studies

May 2008
This bibliography lists some key texts for those wishing to know more about the antiracist agenda of whiteness studies, which recognizes the need to identify "white" as a racialized category and challenges whiteness as a powerful symbol of privilege. More ›

Lee Anne Bell Counters the "Stock Stories" of Race and Racism

January 2011
Art Peterson
Lee Anne Bell will be a different kind of storyteller at the 2011 Rural Sites Network Conference. She will discuss how she examines and categorizes stories about race and racism in order to create what she calls "transformative stories." More ›

Definition of Writing Shifting, Maine Teacher Says

Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning, November 2010
Students of Dave Boardman, Maine Writing Project teacher-consultant, are using video, music, and various multimedia to reimagine the very meaning of reading and writing. More ›

Book Review: Belonging: A Culture of Place

March 2010
Paul Epstein
Finding lessons on the politics of race, class, and belonging that can inform teachers in rural writing projects, Paul Epstein, co-director of the Central West Virginia Writing Project, reviews and recommends bell hooks' book Belonging: A Culture of Place. More ›

Family Matters: A Mother and Daughter’s Literacy Journey

November 2009
Amy Clark
Born into a family that thrived on literacy, Amy Clark, director of the Appalachian Writing Project, recounts the challenges of assuming the role of writing mentor to a person she could not have imagined—her mother. More ›

Teaching Resources for the Presidential Election

August 2012
These resources have been selected to help you and your students learn about the 2012 presidential election and the issues at stake. More ›

Why Rural Matters: 2009

February 2011
The fifth report in a biennial research series by the Rural School and Community Trust, this report provides regional analyses of rural education based on comparative gauges, including size and scope, students and families, educational policies and outcomes, poverty, and rural education priorities. More ›

Karen Vocke Addresses the Unique Needs of Migrant Students

November 2008
Author and teacher Karen Vocke, keynote speaker at the 2009 RSN conference, has been working to help migrant students and their families ever since her experience at Head Start in 1982. More ›

Leading with Intention

April 2008
Tony Tendero, Cynthia Clingman
In this introductory chapter to Writing Intention: Prompting Professional Learning through Student Work, the authors point out that the book's contributors "intentionally center their teaching on the reciprocal relationship between reading and writing." They provide suggestions for how these materials may be discussed. More ›

Rural Teachers Explore Ways to Teach the Holocaust

February 2008
Jennifer Lemberg
In a summer institute sponsored by the Rural Sites Network in partnership with the Holocaust Educators Network, teachers immerse themselves in study of the Holocaust, write, and develop lesson plans designed to move students toward inquiry, empathy, and action. More ›

Study Groups Build Community in Vermont Site's Inservice Offerings

July 2008
Supported by a Rural Sites Network (RSN) minigrant, the NWP of Vermont harnesses the power of teacher-student groups as an important model for teacher-consultant-led professional development in schools. More ›

Rural Educators Work to Strengthen Teaching about the Holocaust

Riverdale Press, August 2008
Partnering with the Holocaust Educators Network, NWP supported teacher-consultants from the Rural Sites Network to attend the Memorial Library Summer Seminar on Holocaust Education. The seminar aims to help teachers develop a comprehensive curriculum for teaching and writing about the Holocaust and other difficult issues. More ›

An Annotated Bibliography of Resources on Rural Poverty

November 2007
Ann Healy-Raymond , Kathy Rowland
Pursuing their interest in the impact of poverty on rural students, Ann Healy-Raymond and Kathy Rowland compiled this bibliography during an RSN Resource Development Retreat. More ›

Celebrating Rural Poetry

Rural poetry took center stage when eight students selected by participating local sites performed their poems at the Library of Congress. More ›

Katrina: In Their Own Words

January 2006
This collection of essays, poems, and songs, published by the Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project captures the turmoil surrounding hurricane Katrina. The work includes pieces by local teachers and students. More ›

Southside Elementary Writing Focus: Site-Based Leadership Reforms the Writing Curriculum

National Writing Project At Work, March 2005
Nancy Remington, Robert McGinty
The story of an inquiry-centered approach to professional development, designed and led by teachers, that could be a model for any school. More ›

Creating Empathetic Connections to Literature

The Quarterly, 2005
Lesley Roessing
Taken aback by her eighth grade students' dry-eyed response to The Diary of Anne Frank, Roessing finds a way to help students convert the them they encounter in multicultural literature into us. More ›

Place-Based Poetry, One Step at a Time

The Quarterly, 2005
Ann Gardner
Gardner's student, who had never seen a free-form poem, writes successfully in free-form style when he is exposed to works in this mode and led through a revision one step at a time. More ›

Writing a Bicycle

The Quarterly, 2004
Kathleen O'Shaughnessy
O'Shaughnessy, a teacher of teachers, offers tips and exercises for other leaders of workshops so that the process of sharing classroom expertise can become easier for all. More ›

How Our Assumptions Affect Our Expectations

The Quarterly, Spring 2003
Jan Hillskemper
Hillskemper reminds us that teachers can drift into a set of misguided assumptions when they mistakenly believe that parents have the same values and expectations that they have. More ›

Tolerating Intolerance: Resisting the Urge to Silence Student Opinion in the Writing Classroom

The Quarterly, Winter 2003
Sarah Rider
Encountering one student's white supremacist views, a teacher realizes that the expression of diverse opinions in class mustn't be restricted to those that please the instructor. A Society of National Association Publications Gold Award winner. More ›

Satellite Sites Overcome Distance Barriers in West Virginia

The Voice, March-April 2003
Laura Tracy Baisden
To overcome the geographic obstacles of Appalachia, a satellite site of the Marshall University Writing Project was developed in Logan County, West Virginia. Baisden outlines some of the key components of building a satellite site. More ›

The View from a Rural Site

The Quarterly, Fall 1993
Ann Dobie
More ›

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