Tuesday, March 30, 2010

National Writing Project

Jeannine Hirtle, director, Lehua Writing Project; Senator Daniel K. Akaka, Hawaii; me

Hawaii right now is a cool 68-75 degrees with highs of 80, so traveling for 13 hours to get to Washington DC was not only a privilege, but a challenge because I don't own any sweaters. Still, the weather was very mild this past week as we went around to our different senators and representatives to urge them to continue direct funding of the National Writing Project (my summer and weekend job).

The National Writing Project provides the infrastructure for over 200 local writing project sites in all 50 states. It is the only national writing "program," and the sites are run in partnership with local universities. I am the co-director of the Lehua Writing Project out of the University of Hawaii at Hilo, but we also have a Hawaii Writing Project that is celebrating its 30th year this year. It sounds so cliche, but writing project did change my life as a teacher and provide leadership opportunities throughout my career. I am thankful for the support of writing project.

If you are not familiar with writing project, go to nwp.org to find the site nearest you. This is not just for English teachers. This is about teachers teaching teachers, it's good writing instruction across the curriculum, and it's about the power of the reading-writing connection.

Ok, off my soap box now, but if you're a writing project fellow, I'd like to hear your thoughts. And if you're not a writing project fellow, check out your local site and join a summer institute.

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