National Writing Project

Overcoming Inequity: Creating Opportunities for ALL Rural Students

Date: December 21, 2010

Summary: Rural educators from across the country will be attending NWP's Rural Sites Network Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, on March 11-12, 2011, to help further a national agenda to improve the teaching of writing and to promote equitable access to learning for rural students.


How can powerful literacy instruction promote equity in rural schools?

That's the question rural educators from across the country will discuss in Little Rock, Arkansas, on March 11-12 at the 2011 Rural Sites Network Conference.

This two-day conference will be hosted by the Great Bear Writing Project at the University of Central Arkansas.

Pre-conference Workshop

On Friday, the English Language Learners Network will sponsor "Creating Opportunities for English Language Learners," a full-day pre-conference workshop focused on supporting rural teachers who face new challenges with the increase of languages and cultures in schools once monolingual.

Other pre-conference events include

Conference Events

Friday evening features an opening reception that highlights displays of digital work created by students from across the state of Arkansas.

The dinner speaker will be Spirit Trickey-Rowan , the author of One Ninth , a powerful one-act play exploring human dignity and racial conflict as seen through the eyes of a teenage Minnijean Brown Trickey, a member of the Little Rock Nine. (For more, listen to this NPR segment on the legacy of the Little Rock Nine ).

Rounding out the evening is an optional post-banquet event, Digging Up Arkansas, a short one-act play written by Mike Thomas, co-director of the Northwest Arkansas Writing Project. (For more, read "Arkansas Writing Project Teacher Puts Humor into History").

Keynote Speaker

Saturday will kick off with keynote speaker Lee Anne Bell . Bell's scholarly and pedagogical work relates to issues of gender, race, and culture in educational settings and how these impact equity, access, and achievement in schools.

Her latest scholarly and pedagogical work is a focus on research on racialization patterns in how "gatekeepers" in education and human services talk about race and racism. This research is described in her new book, Storytelling for Social Justice: Connecting Narrative and the Arts in Antiracist Teaching .

Three rounds of concurrent workshops focused on the theme of the conference, "Overcoming Inequity: Creating Opportunities for ALL Rural Students," will follow the morning keynote speech.

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