National Writing Project

Resource Topics

Teaching Writing - Rural Education

Additional Resources

Why Rural Matters 2011-2012: The Condition of Rural Education in the 50 States

Rural School and Community Trust Policy Program, February 2012
This sixth report in a biennial research series by the Rural School and Community Trust Policy Program explores the "conditions of rural education in each of the 50 states and call[s] attention to the need for policymakers to address rural education issues in their respective states." More ›

Honoring Dialect and Increasing Student Performance in Standard English

September 2011
Paul Epstein, Lynette Herring-Harris
With support from the Rural Sites Network, teachers at the Appalachian Writing Project are studying Appalachian dialect and the ability to code-switch in student writing. More ›

Rural Solutions to Rural Problems

August 2011
Through an array of site practices, programs, and partnerships, NWP sites provide teachers with opportunities to explore the strengths and challenges that define rural education in America. This episode features what NWP has learned from its member sites about teaching and learning in rural schools. More ›

Gay, Rural, and Coming Out: A Case Study of One School's Experience

The Rural Educator, July 2011
Through the eyes and experiences of a student, his teachers, classmates, and community, this case study shares the story of how a rural school and community dealt with an issue they had never before actively considered and the sometimes hidden challenges of high school. More ›

Why Rural Matters: 2009

February 2011
The fifth report in a biennial research series by the Rural School and Community Trust, this report provides regional analyses of rural education based on comparative gauges, including size and scope, students and families, educational policies and outcomes, poverty, and rural education priorities. More ›

Lee Anne Bell Counters the "Stock Stories" of Race and Racism

January 2011
Art Peterson
Lee Anne Bell will be a different kind of storyteller at the 2011 Rural Sites Network Conference. She will discuss how she examines and categorizes stories about race and racism in order to create what she calls "transformative stories." More ›

Overcoming Inequity: Creating Opportunities for ALL Rural Students

December 2010
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. More ›

Indian Education for All: Grounded in Place and Culture

May 2010
Paul Epstein
In Maine and Montana, Writing Project sites are exploring how to help teachers implement state laws regarding Indian education and improve the writing of Native American learners. More ›

Book Review: Belonging: A Culture of Place

March 2010
Paul Epstein
Finding lessons on the politics of race, class, and belonging that can inform teachers in rural writing projects, Paul Epstein, co-director of the Central West Virginia Writing Project, reviews and recommends bell hooks' book Belonging: A Culture of Place. More ›

Current Challenges and Opportunities in Preparing Rural High School Students for Success

February 2010
This report challenges many of the myths about rural communities that have led to regional educational inequity and suggests that the nature of rural schools can be conducive to rapid educational change. More ›

Book Review: When Poverty's Children Write: Celebrating Strengths, Transforming Lives

December 2009
Paul Epstein
Paul Epstein, co-director at the Central West Virginia Writing Project, praises Bobbie Solley's When Poverty's Children Write for providing insights into the unique challenges that teachers of disadvantaged children face and for advancing strategies to better help these children learn and write. More ›

Family Matters: A Mother and Daughter’s Literacy Journey

November 2009
Amy Clark
Born into a family that thrived on literacy, Amy Clark, director of the Appalachian Writing Project, recounts the challenges of assuming the role of writing mentor to a person she could not have imagined—her mother. More ›

Rural Voices Radio Spawns New Series: Calling America

January 2009
Art Peterson
A new audio series by the team that produced Rural Voices Radio features short segments of writing by authors, young and old, from across the nation. More ›

Book Review: Where Do I Go From Here? Meeting the Unique Educational Needs of Migrant Students

December 2008
Stephanie Vanderslice
Where Do I Go from Here? examines ways teachers can make the most of each day with the "invisible" students of rural migrant farmers by creating educational experiences that will serve all children long after they leave the classrooms. More ›

Karen Vocke Addresses the Unique Needs of Migrant Students

November 2008
Author and teacher Karen Vocke, keynote speaker at the 2009 RSN conference, has been working to help migrant students and their families ever since her experience at Head Start in 1982. More ›

Two Ozarks Teachers Give Students Insight into the Holocaust

Springfield News Leader, September 2008
In an opportunity made possible through the Rural Sites Network, two southwestern Missouri teacher-consultants attended a seminar on teaching about the Holocaust. They've developed a curriculum to help students understand such horrendous events, and now they're teaching other teachers what they've learned. More ›

Rural Educators Work to Strengthen Teaching about the Holocaust

Riverdale Press, August 2008
Partnering with the Holocaust Educators Network, NWP supported teacher-consultants from the Rural Sites Network to attend the Memorial Library Summer Seminar on Holocaust Education. The seminar aims to help teachers develop a comprehensive curriculum for teaching and writing about the Holocaust and other difficult issues. More ›

Rural Leaders, Rural Places: Problem, Privilege, and Possibility

May 2008
Kathleen Budge
Kathleen Budge reveals the disconnect between educators' feelings of privilege residing in a rural community and problems they see for their students in these communities. She calls for "critical leadership of place" based on awareness of this paradox. More ›

Rural Poverty and the Importance of Place Value

May 2008
Angela Kirby
Angela Kirby, a teacher with the Crossroads Writing Project in Michigan, stresses that the education of rural disadvantaged youth needs to focus especially on guiding these students toward living well within their communities. More ›

Celebrating the Rural Poet Laureate and Rural Poetry

July 2007
The Rural Sites Network collaborated with the Rural School and Community Trust to create the Rural Poetry of Place project. Eight sites were awarded grants to support the teaching and celebration of place-based poetry. More ›

Honoring Dialect and Culture: Pathways to Student Success on High-Stakes Writing Assessments

English Journal, March 2007
Michelle Crotteau
When a speaker of Appalachian English fails the state's writing assessment, Michelle Crotteau, a teacher-consultant with the Central Virginia Writing Project, demonstrates that appropriate strategies and respect for home language allows for both authentic writing and successful test preparation. More ›

An Annotated Bibliography of Resources on Rural Poverty

November 2007
Ann Healy-Raymond , Kathy Rowland
Pursuing their interest in the impact of poverty on rural students, Ann Healy-Raymond and Kathy Rowland compiled this bibliography during an RSN Resource Development Retreat. More ›

Why Rural Matters 2007

October 2007
Jerry Johnson, Marty Strange
Why Rural Matters 2007, the fourth in a biennial research series by the Rural School and Community Trust, reveals new trends facing rural education—most notably an overall increase in enrollment in rural schools and an increase in rural minority students. More ›

A Geography of Stories: Helping Secondary Students Come to Voice Through Readings, People, and Place

The Quarterly, 2003
Phip Ross
The following excerpt from the newly released National Writing Project/Teachers College Press book articulates how students' awareness of personal identity contributes to a unique sense of voice. Here, Phip Ross elaborates on how the transcription of people's experiences and surroundings can create an immortal and meaningful expression of who we are in relation to our communities. More ›

Rural Voices Book Proves Timing Is Everything

The Voice, Fall 2003
Amy Bauman
This book, that advocates for an educational system based on a localized, teacher- and community-driven curriculum, is the result of research conducted by Nebraska Writing Project teachers in NWP's Rural Voices, Country Schools project. More ›

Satellite Sites Overcome Distance Barriers in West Virginia

The Voice, March-April 2003
Laura Tracy Baisden
To overcome the geographic obstacles of Appalachia, a satellite site of the Marshall University Writing Project was developed in Logan County, West Virginia. Baisden outlines some of the key components of building a satellite site. More ›

Talking, Oklahoman to Oklahoman

The Voice, September-October 2002
Barbara Howry
Students from an urban community in Oklahoma, stereotyped by students from Georgia during an online exchange, learn a lesson when they realize they have stereotyped another group of students. More ›

Rural Sites Teachers Inspire Community Connections

The Voice, January-February 2001
Phip Ross
An overview of three different community-based projects--by Mary Beth Crovetto, Amy Hottovy, and Colleen Myers--presented at the Rural Sites meeting in Milwaukee. More ›

Rural Voices Radio Launches Three New Pieces

The Voice, March-April 2001
Laura Paradise
Teacher coordinators from Hawai`i, Maine, and Mississippi gathered on the UC Berkeley campus to produce an eight-minute CD that will be used to introduce the new Rural Voices Radio programs. The online article includes printed transcripts of "Mama's Button Box," by Suzanne Thompson, "Come with Me," by Ken Martin, and "I Have a Weakness," by Susie Jacobs. More ›

Granny's Little Girl

The Voice, May-June 2001
Jackie Wesson
This is a poem written during the 2001 NWP Rural Sites Network Retreat. More ›

Wall of Literacy Learning Exemplifies Student Writing

The Voice, January-February 2000
Lynne Alvine
Members of the Rural Voices team and the site directors from the Southcentral Pennsylvania Writing Project create a "wall of literacy" which exemplifies students' writing development across the age ranges. More ›

Sky's the Limit with Rural Voices Radio

The Voice, May-June 2000
Kim Stafford
More ›

I Am a Teacher in a Country School

The Voice, Spring 1999
Kim Stafford
More ›

The Truth About Lightning Bugs: What Our Children Know

The Quarterly, Spring 1999
Kim Patterson
Patterson argues that students from rural and economically deprived backgrounds come to school with valuable experience to share. The teacher's job is to find ways to use this knowledge and experience. More ›

Listen to the Rural Voices

The Voice, Fall 1997
Supported by a grant from the Annenberg Rural Challenge, Rural Voices, Country Schools is capturing effective teaching and learning practices in rural schools in order to make quality rural education visible locally, regionally, and nationally. More ›

Future Faulkners of America: Writing from the Rural Sites

The Quarterly, Summer 1995
National Writing Project rural sites director Ann Dobie offers four pieces of writing by students in rural West Virginia middle schools: Mike McWhorter, Erin Kalbaugh, Leann Bennett, and Tiffany Danelle Arthur. The brief essays, which explore situations and describe settings unfamiliar to most city folk, give a vivid experience of their writers' lives and personalities. More ›

The Mother Tongue: Takin' It to the Woods

The Quarterly, Summer 1995
Patti Powell Couvillon
Patti Powell Couvillon tells of her experience teaching a multi-grade class in the remote community of Elmer, Louisiana. At first she had no idea how to work with the students. Then she realized that if students are to write well they need to reflect first on who they are and what they bring to the classroom. She came up with activities that allowed them to celebrate themselves and their community, including writing about animals and interviewing elders. She shares examples of their work. More ›

Stepping Stones

The Quarterly, Spring/Summer 1994
Phyllis J. Owens
Phyllis Owens, a high school English teacher in McDowell County, West Virginia, a region burdened with ninety percent unemployment, joins the writing project and invigorates her teaching. Turning stumbling blocks into stepping stones, she gets grants for such projects as a student Shakespeare presentation and an anthology of student writing depicting the heritage of McDowell County. She develops a host of writing projects around the simplest of resources: a stone. More ›

The View from a Rural Site

The Quarterly, Fall 1993
Ann Dobie
More ›

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