National Writing Project

Special-Focus Network Minigrants Now Available

By: NWP Staff
Publication: The Voice, Vol. 7, No. 5
Date: November-December 2002

Summary: The four NWP special-focus networks are offering minigrants to help writing projects strengthen site capacity, build teacher leadership, and foster innovation among teachers. Deadline: January 3, 2003


Every fall, minigrants are offered by the National Writing Project special-focus networks in conjunction with the writing project annual site application. This year, requests for proposals were distributed to all sites in October; proposals are due to NWP by January 3, 2003. To be eligible for funds, a site must be a member of the special-focus network to which it is submitting a proposal.

This year heralds several firsts in the special-focus network minigrant arena. In 2002, all four special-focus networks—the English Language Learners Network, the Rural Sites Network, the Teacher Inquiry Communities Network, and the Urban Sites Network—are extending the opportunity to apply for minigrants. The newest of the four networks, the Teacher Inquiry Communities Network has not previously offered minigrant funding. Each network sets forth minigrant priorities and funding criteria. Awards are determined by peer review, usually among network leadership.

Sites will now be able to go online to begin the application process, download proposal information, and sign-up for network membership. By following the easy steps provided on network webpages, sites can obtain a simple checklist for submitting proposals. Other reference materials posted on the webpages include sample proposals and an archive of previously funded projects.

Those who wish to learn more about minigrants or who would like to discuss project ideas with network leadership can attend the special-focus networks minigrants session at the NWP Annual Meeting on Friday, November 22, or visit the special-focus networks table located in the meeting foyer.

Although modest in size, minigrants have enabled sites and teacher-leaders to strengthen core site capacity, build teacher leadership, pilot models of teaching and professional development, and get that extra funding needed to tackle one of the ongoing challenges identified by sites within a particular special-focus network. Last year, sixteen sites received minigrants. Activities supported by minigrants included new institutes, writing retreats, targeted inservice programs, and partnerships with community organizations.

For more information, visit the minigrants section of the special-focus networks webpages at

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