National Writing Project

Teachers Across the Country Connect in Summer Learning Opportunities—Focus on New Ways to Teach Writing, Youth Programs, and Online Collaborations

For Immediate Release


Berkeley, CA, June 9, 2014 — Like their students, teachers across the country look forward to their summer vacation. This summer, many teachers will be taking some of their time to continue learning. More than 3,000 educators will attend Invitational and Advanced Institutes through the National Writing Project (NWP), taking advantage of a unique opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding of how best to teach writing in the digital age. In addition to face-to-face programs, many NWP teacher-leaders will be participating in Making Learning Connected (#clmooc) , an eight-week online collaborative learning opportunity. Making Learning Connected engages participants in exploring new digital tools during "make" projects, while sharing reflections with colleagues across the country and around the world.

With funding from the U.S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation, private foundations, universities, and a variety of local funders, Writing Project sites serve all 50 states and host an array of high-quality professional development activities. These offerings allow teachers the opportunity to study the latest research on teaching writing and share knowledge, expertise, and effective classroom practices with one another.

"The Writing Project isn't just about writing in language arts classrooms. We are committed to providing teachers with immediately relevant programs that support them in improving the literacy education of their students in all subjects," said Dr. Ellen Shelton, Director, University of Mississippi Writing Project. "This summer, in addition to our Invitational Institute, we have a range of summer learning opportunities for teachers of all grades and disciplines to support them as they implement new college- and career-ready standards and prepare for new assessments."

While centered on professional development programs for educators, local Writing Project sites also continue to expand their work with youth programs focused on writing. Over 800 different programs took place in summer 2013, with a similar number of programs expected this summer.

"In so many ways, educators continue to forge partnerships and engage one another during the summer months," said Judy Buchanan, Deputy Director. "Through these opportunities, teachers are better equipped to support their colleagues and to help their students excel in writing across all disciplines."

National research studies have shown that professional development programs designed and delivered by NWP sites have a positive effect on the writing achievement of students across grade levels, schools, and contexts. To learn more, visit


Through its mission, the National Writing Project focuses the knowledge, expertise, and leadership of our nation's educators on sustained efforts to improve writing and learning. Writing in its many forms is the signature means of communication in the 21st century. The NWP envisions a future where every person is an accomplished writer, engaged learner, and active participant in a digital, interconnected world. Located on nearly 200 university and college campuses, NWP works in partnership with K-12 schools, libraries, museums, after-school programs, and local Writing Project sites to provide high-quality, sustained professional development for 100,000 teachers a year. Through its many successful programs and partnerships, the organization reaches 1.4 million Pre-K through college-age students in over 3,000 schools districts annually.