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Area teachers study writing this summer at Marshall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — More than 26 local teachers will join approximately 3,000 kindergarten-through-college teachers across the country in attending National Writing Project (NWP) Summer Institutes to learn new strategies to improve their students’ writing skills.

Tri-State teachers are attending the Summer Institute sponsored by Marshall University’s Writing Project from June 16 through July 8. They “will return to their classrooms next fall equipped with proven strategies for teaching young people how to write and how to use writing to learn,” said Sharon J. Washington, NWP executive director.

“Writing continues to be the signature means of communication in the digital age, and these institutes provide valuable continuous learning opportunities for local teachers.”

The theme for Marshall’s Summer Institute this year is Weaving What Works: Using Technology to Bring Traditional Literacies into the 21st Century.

The Summer Institute offers teachers the opportunity to earn six hours of tuition waived graduate credit, receive a $500 stipend, and become a teacher consultant for the National Writing Project.

Located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands and co-directed by local university faculty and classroom teachers, the NWP institutes offer teachers the opportunity to study the latest research on the teaching of writing and share knowledge, expertise, and effective classroom practices.

As a site of the National Writing Project, Marshall University Writing Project (MUWP) is a network of practicing teachers who provide professional development, develop resources, generate research, and act on knowledge to improve the teaching of writing and learning in schools and communities. Since 1986, MUWP has served teachers across disciplines and at all levels.

MUWP is celebrating its 25th year with special activities and an anniversary banquet planned for October 2, 2010.

Teachers from all of the summer institutes are invited to this reunion.

Marshall University Writing Project is one of ten sites of the national network supporting a rural satellite. MUWP encompasses Three Bridges, based at Marshall University, and the rural satellite, Coalfield Writers, based in Logan County, W.Va.

Marshall University Writing Project envisions 21st century literacies as vehicles to motivate all persons to understand the relevance of being lifelong learners in a digital, interconnected world.

A recent report by the Alliance for Excellent Education and Carnegie Corporation of New York adds another dimension to writing’s importance to learning. “Writing to Read” identified particular writing practices that are, according to the report, “effective in helping students increase their reading skills and comprehension.”

National research studies confirm significant gains in writing performance among students whose teachers participate in NWP programs.