National Writing Project

NWP a Big Draw at National Education Events

By: NWP Staff
Publication: The Voice, Vol. 8, No. 5
Date: 2003

Summary: The NWP participated in two prominent national education events, the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., and Smithsonian Teachers Night in Arizona, Kansas, and Washington, D.C., and received the enthusiastic response of hundreds of educators...


The National Writing Project recently took part in two prominent national education events. On October 4, representatives from the NWP and the District of Columbia Area Writing Project (DCAWP) were on hand at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., to distribute writing project information to teachers, parents, students, and others. An estimated 75,000 people attended the all-day literacy celebration, held on the National Mall, sponsored by the Library of Congress, and hosted by first lady Laura Bush. NWP is a partner in the Library of Congress's Center for the Book reading promotion program and was one of approximately 75 national organizations invited to participate in the event.

At the NWP booth at the Smithsonian Teachers Night are (left to right) Sandra Adam Byrd of the D.C. Area Writing Project; Trudy Todd of the Northern Virginia Writing Project; Vanessa Austin and Judy Kelly (director) both of the D.C. Area Writing Project; and Andy Bradshaw, NWP government relations associate.

More than 1,000 educators and members of the general public stopped by NWP's information table at the festival to chat with local teacher-consultants and learn about programs offered in the greater Washington, D.C., area. Learning that there is a professional development organization for teachers, run by teachers, was clearly welcome news to many visitors.

"It is gratifying to see the enthusiastic response the writing project receives at these types of events," said NWP Government Relations Associate Andy Bradshaw. "When someone approaches the exhibit table, it's always `Oooh, there's the writing project!' or `Oh, I had a friend who did the writing project—she said it was fantastic!' or `Thank goodness someone is supporting writing.' This year's National Book Festival was no exception."

NWP and local site representatives also took part in Smithsonian Teachers Night events this fall. Billed as a "nationwide celebration of the power of museums to enhance learning," Teachers Night actually took place on two separate evenings in three different Smithsonian museums or partner museums.

(Left to right) Elizabeth Davis, Pauline Baker, and Lorine Kritzer-Pergament, all from the D.C. Area Writing Project, cover the booth at the National Book Festival.

Teacher leaders from the Greater Phoenix Area Writing Project (Arizona) and the Flint Hills Writing Project (Kansas) took part in the September 19 festivities at the Challenger Space Center of Arizona and the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, Kansas. Several hundred teachers and administrators stopped by the writing project table at both events, with many wanting quick answers to questions about how to teach writing, said Freida Golden, a Flint Hills Writing Project teacher-consultant. On October 3, teacher leaders from the Maryland, Northern Virginia, and D.C. Area Writing Projects were on hand at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., to distribute writing project information to many of the more than 2,000 educators attending Teachers Night in the nation's capitol. This is the second year NWP has participated in Smithsonian Teachers Night, part of its continuing partnership with the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies.

About the Authors Thanks to Andy Bradshaw; Freida Golden of the Flint Hills Writing Project; and G. Lynn Nelson, director of the Greater Phoenix Area Writing Project, for their contributions to this piece.

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