National Writing Project

Teachers Put Innovation in Their Back-to-School Plans

For Immediate Release


Berkeley, CA, August 19, 2009—As students and teachers across the country head back to the classroom rejuvenated and refreshed, more than 3,000 new National Writing Project (NWP) Teacher-Leaders are eager to meet them after attending their own specialized professional development at NWP's Summer Institutes.

Equipped with new ideas and approaches to help students improve their writing, these teachers join the ranks of thousands of others who have participated in NWP's annual Summer Institutes over the past 35 years. In 2009, these intensive four-week programs were held at more than 200 university-based sites across the country.

"Teachers attend NWP Summer Institutes because they know that writing skills are central not only to students' success in school, but also to a lifetime of effective communication and critical thinking," said Dr. Sharon J. Washington, NWP Executive Director. "These leadership institutes provide the space and time for teachers of all grade levels and disciplines to reinvigorate their teaching and enhance their knowledge of theory, research, and practice to help students become better writers and learners."

After the Summer Institute, Writing Project Teacher-Leaders conduct professional development workshops for other teachers in their communities. Nationally, 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 NWP Summer Institute enriched their lives and transformed their classrooms.

"The Writing Project helps me teach my students to think, to process information, and to create new ways of looking at the world," said Dolores Perez, a fifth grade teacher at Cromack Elementary School in Brownsville, Texas. "I owe it to my students to grow professionally so I can give them my best."


The National Writing Project is the most significant coordinated effort to improve writing in America. NWP sites, located on more than 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