National Writing Project

Dedicated Teachers in Rural Areas Give Writing a Boost

National Writing Project Hosts Conference on Teaching in Rural Communities

For Immediate Release


FOLSOM, CA, March 9, 2005—Teachers from rural schools in 25 states will gather in Folsom, California, March 11–13, to talk about teaching writing to students in isolated, often impoverished communities. Rachel Tompkins, President of the Rural School and Community Trust, will be the keynote speaker of the conference hosted by the National Writing Project (NWP).

The three-day conference will bring together 125 teachers and university faculty for discussion of rural issues and success stories in the teaching of writing. Sessions include "Writing in the Rural Ghetto," "Writing for Radio," "Parents at the Center," plus several that feature technology as a means of marrying traditional and modern approaches to learning.

NWP targets both rural and urban communities for special attention since teachers in those areas often have less access to high-quality professional development and, therefore, students may be less prepared in the important area of writing.

In rural communities, NWP teachers have identified difficult economic circumstances, declining populations, and large geographic distances as challenges they encounter in their teaching and professional development lives. National Writing Project participants in this weekend's conference will also show how they take advantage of the strengths of living and working in rural areas: smaller schools and class size, close family and community connections, and appreciation for natural resources and settings.

EDITOR'S/REPORTER'S NOTE: Reporters will have access to all sessions and to the keynote speaker, Rachel Tompkins. A complete schedule of events is available at If possible, please contact Tom Fox at before you attend and he will make sure you get the information and/or interviews you need for your story. Or ask for Tom Fox when you arrive at the conference so he can make sure your reporting needs are met. The conference will be held at Lake Natoma Inn, 702 Gold Lake Drive, Folsom, CA 95630, ph: (916) 351-1500.


Located in 189 universities in 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia, the National Writing Project (NWP) is a professional development organization focused on improving the teaching of writing in all classrooms, kindergarten through college.

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