National Writing Project

Urban Sites Network Grant

2005-2006 USN Minigrants

The Urban Sites Network (USN) offers minigrant funds to NWP sites on an annual basis. Every fall, USN minigrants are offered as part of the special-focus networks minigrant program in conjunction with the NWP Application for Continued Funding. Funding criteria and awards are determined through a peer-review process; grants are awarded in the spring of each year.

For more, view the original proposal information.

Seven Participating Sites

Bay Area Writing Project, California

The Bay Area Writing Project’s “African American Youth and the Teaching of Writing Project” will build on what has been learned from work completed in the past year to develop new materials, content, and design for professional development programs. The project will engage teachers and administrators in examining culturally consistent educational practices and pedagogy that contribute to academic excellence for African American students.

San Diego Area Writing Project, California

The San Diego Area Writing Project will lead an advanced institute for teacher-consultants who are teaching in both urban and non-urban schools to build capacity in the site to design and lead professional development that is relevant to teachers’ demanding professional contexts. The central goal is to educate teacher-leaders within the San Diego Area Writing Project about the unique educational issues facing teachers and students in urban schools and students from ethnically, economically, and linguistically diverse backgrounds in more suburban schools.

Tampa Bay Area Writing Project, Florida

The Tampa Bay Area Writing Project will institute a yearlong program to develop the leadership capacity of teacher-consultants in order to support and promote the growth of the site. In an intensive one-week summer leadership conference, identified teacher-consultants will participate in large and small group discussions led by experts in leadership skill development, and work on individual leadership projects supported by the work of the Tampa Bay Area Writing Project and implemented throughout the 2005-2006 school year.

Minnesota Writing Project, Minnesota

The Minnesota Writing Project has been addressing equity issues affecting teachers and students in local schools by offering a young writers conference for middle school students. This event brings together groups of students from urban and suburban schools with racially mixed student populations to practice writing activities together. The Minnesota Writing Project will offer a one-week leadership institute for six to eight teacher-consultants to design a summer writing camp for urban youth to be offered during the summer of 2006. By establishing a local leadership team to design a summer writing camp, the site will better meet this growing need to support urban teachers and to provide more opportunities for urban youth.

Western New York Writing Project, New York

The "Professional Development Redesign Project" for the Western New York Writing Project focuses on a “revisioning” of the teaching demonstrations developed by teacher-consultants. The demonstrations will be fine-tuned to fit into one of five series of presentations that will be offered to the Buffalo City schools and other urban school districts. The project’s three goals include creating professional development strands and revising the integrated workshop series; developing a plan of action to connect to school districts; and designing and implementing an advanced institute to foster the leadership of teacher-consultants.

Oklahoma State University Writing Project, Oklahoma

The Oklahoma State University Writing Project will hold a one-week open institute for adjunct and full-time faculty that focuses on creating a professional learning community through modeling writing, teaching, and inquiry practices. Community college faculty face the challenges of an urban learning environment that are familiar to urban teachers across grades. Given the demographics of many community college adjunct faculty, an open institute for community college faculty focused on these systemic challenges will provide a continuity of practice spanning middle through post-secondary grade levels. The open institute will be held at Tulsa’s largest community college campus, Tulsa Community College Metro. The twenty participants will receive two books, a binder of current articles on research and practice, and extensive exposure to current inquiry-based teaching strategies.

Philadelphia Writing Project, Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Writing Project will conduct a one-day seminar and conference for Philadelphia School District and charter school administrators to address the urgency of high quality professional development in the teaching of writing and literacy. This conference will serve a two-fold purpose: to inform Philadelphia School District administrators and policy-makers (including charter schools) and to engage these participants in authentic writing experiences and reflections that will contribute to discussions about why writing matters and the implications for professional development in Philadelphia schools.


For more information, contact Luke Hokama at or 510-643-4766.
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