National Writing Project

Teachers and Students Return to School Ready to Focus on Writing

For Immediate Release


Berkeley, CA, August 22, 2008—As students head back to school, inspired by the successes of American athletes at the Olympics, more than 3,000 National Writing Project (NWP) teachers are eager to meet them after completing their own specialized training at NWP's summer institutes.

These institutes, held at nearly 200 NWP sites on college campuses nationwide, are designed to provide educators with innovative strategies for helping students improve their writing.

"Teachers attend NWP summer institutes because they know that writing skills are central to students' access to higher education, and also to a lifetime of good communication and critical thinking," commented Dr. Sharon J. Washington, NWP executive director. "These institutes provide the space and time for teachers of all grade levels to refresh their teaching skills, to reconnect with their academic communities, and to enhance their knowledge of new techniques essential to their students' writing and learning."

After the institute, teachers take their experiences and insights back to their local school districts, where they conduct professional development workshops for other teachers. In this way, their teaching colleagues also gain state-of-the-art techniques, increased knowledge, and enthusiasm to share with their students.

It is not uncommon for participants, who come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to remark that the summer institute enriched their lives and transformed their classrooms.

Margie Willis, principal of Hawkins Elementary School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, commented, "The writing project is the best professional development program I ever attended." Susan Kajiwara-Ansai, a reading coach for the Chicago Public Schools, comments, "From the first minute of your involvement in the writing project, you experience respect and professionalism."


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

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