National Writing Project

More Than 3,000 Teachers Work to Improve Student Writing

NWP Summer Institutes Strengthen Teacher Knowledge and Skills in Writing Instruction

For Immediate Release

 

BERKELEY, CA, May 5, 2005—Beginning this month, more than 3,000 teachers will participate in National Writing Project (NWP) summer institutes at 189 universities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. During four weeks of study, kindergarten through university teachers will examine specific teaching strategies that help students of all ages become accomplished writers and learners.

Buoyed by recent national attention to writing—the new SAT and ACT college entrance exams that include writing as an indicator of academic achievement—participating teachers arrive at summer institutes ready to demonstrate their own best practices and to learn from their locally recognized and accomplished colleagues.

Following the summer institutes, participating teachers conduct programs in their own schools and in neighboring schools and districts. In 2004, NWP teachers conducted 6,871 programs for 130,000 colleagues.

"Because of the writing project, I stayed in teaching," says Sidnie Myrick, who was a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher of English language learners when she attended her first summer institute at the UCLA Writing Project in 1990. Fifteen years later, Myrick still teaches, now at Renaissance Arts Academy, a Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) charter school she co-founded.

Her faculty colleagues—all new to teaching—have also benefited from writing project professional development, as have their students. After its first year, Renaissance Arts ranked sixth out of 86 middle schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, based on standardized test scores, and ninth out of 73 K–12 charter schools in all of Los Angeles County.

 

The National Writing Project is a nationwide network of educators working together to strengthen writing instruction in America's schools. Independent evaluation finds that students in the classrooms of NWP teachers make significant gains in writing achievement.

 
For more information, find a writing project site in your area or visit the links below.

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