National Writing Project

Thousands of Teachers Focus on Writing over Summer Vacation

For Immediate Release

 

Berkeley, CA, May 20, 2008—More than 3,000 teachers across the country will focus on improving their students’ writing skills this summer by attending a National Writing Project (NWP) invitational institute. Buoyed by the 2008 release of The Nation’s Report Card: Writing 2007, which shows modest but encouraging writing gains among eighth- and twelfth-grade students, these teachers will dedicate four weeks to studying research and effective classroom practices to help students at all grade levels.

NWP summer institutes offer consistently positive results. Nebraska high school teacher Jane Connealy describes the institute as “the single most important professional development experience in my twenty-year career as an English teacher.” Ninety-seven per cent of teachers report that what they learn translates into improved writing skills for their students. National research studies confirm significant gains in writing performance among students whose teachers participate in NWP programs.

Students themselves believe good writing is essential for success, and they believe that more writing instruction would be to their benefit, according to “Writing, Technology and Teens,” a 2008 report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. The digital generation may write more than any other when it comes to email, instant messaging, and social networking. But it’s up to teachers to help students build on their interest in communication by showing them how to write for academic and workplace purposes.

The NWP summer institute is packed with information and first-hand practice with writing strategies and digital tools. Teachers then have the ongoing advantage of support from their local writing project site and from the NWP national network. Returning to school this fall, these teachers will bring new insights and skills to their students, and to their colleagues, so that students in many classrooms benefit.

 

The National Writing Project is the most significant coordinated effort to improve writing in America. NWP sites, located on nearly 200 university and college campuses, serve more than 135,000 participants annually. NWP continues to add new sites each year with the goal of placing the writing project within reach of every teacher in America. Through its professional development model, NWP develops the leadership, programs, and research needed for teachers to help students become successful writers and learners. For more information, visit www.nwp.org.

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