National Writing Project

Rural Sites Network Grant

2008-2009 RSN Minigrants

The Rural Sites Network (RSN) offers minigrant funds to NWP sites on an annual basis. Every fall, RSN 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. This year, grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded.

For more, view the original proposal information.

Seven Participating Sites

University of Maine Writing Project, Maine

This minigrant supports a professional development program that addresses the writing and learning needs of teenagers of the Wabanaki tribe. The components of the program include hosting a series of discussions with Maine Writing Project teacher-consultants and Wabanaki teachers, writers, and elders; working as teacher-researchers at a five-day summer writing camp for Wabanaki adolescents; and creating writing activities appropriate for young Wabanakis in reservation and public schools.

Montana Writing Project, Montana

This minigrant funds an open institute to explore writing and literacy education in the context of implementing the Montana statute Indian Education for All (IEFA). The statute aims to bring understanding of the cultural, contemporary, and historic accomplishments and contributions of Montana's American Indians to all Montanans. American Indian educators and nonnative teacher-consultants explore promising practices for teaching writing and literacy and develop an action plan for implementing IEFA in their classrooms.

National Writing Project in New Hampshire, New Hampshire

The What I Love About Laconia minigrant project is a professional development program in place-based writing for teachers. Teacher-consultants participating in a study group work with students to write about the community of Laconia with the goal of publishing a place-based writing resource book for educators. Through this process teacher-consultants and students will increase their knowledge, appreciation, and understanding of placed-based writing.

High Plains Writing Project, New Mexico

This minigrant project is an open institute that helps to meet the following site goals: Recruit more teachers to the summer institute; give teachers in the process of obtaining master's degrees an opportunity to participate in site activities; and enable teachers with young children to attend without taking them away from their families for four weeks. In addition to strengthening the participants' writing skills, the open institute will increase awareness of the summer institute and provide a taste of what the summer institute offers both personally and professionally.

Lowcountry Writing Project, South Carolina

In an effort to reach rural teachers who, because of long driving distances, cannot attend open institutes offered during the school year, the site offers Creative Nonfiction: Writing Memoir, a two-week open institute held in the summer. This minigrant provides support for site leaders in identifying teachers from distant schools who are strong candidates for a summer institute. With this goal in mind, funds are also allocated to offer scholarships for teachers attending the open institute as an introduction to the programs of the Lowcountry Writing Project.

West Tennessee Writing Project, Tennessee

This advanced institute provides support for teachers who are ready to share their teaching with a teacher inquiry community. Teacher-consultants participating in the advanced institute join together for an intense week of reading, writing, and thinking that will guide them in an inquiry project for the upcoming school year. Participants share their inquiry and knowledge with each other through a group blog, present their results along with teachers across West Tennessee, and are encouraged to submit their findings to broader audiences in order to enhance the public's understanding of rural education.

Central West Virginia Writing Project, West Virginia

This two-week open institute in Nicholas County provides access to the writing project to teachers in an underrepresented region of the site's service area. Nicholas County teachers are between 90 and 120 miles from the home institution, Marshall University Graduate College, which makes the trip for three weeks during the summer difficult. The purpose of the institute is to develop leadership capacity among Nicholas County teachers for continuing and enhancing local professional development in writing.

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