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ASU Arkansas Delta Writing Project begins to accept applications for 2013 Summer Writing Institute for Teachers


JONESBORO, Ark. — Inquiring, writing, and teachers thinking together—that’s what occurs in National Writing Project summer institutes. 

The Arkansas Delta Writing Project (ADWP) at Arkansas State University is accepting applications for its 2013 Summer Writing Institute for Teachers. The summer institute is being held at ASU’s Department of Teacher Education from June 4-28, and will encompass the rigors of writing accompanied by the new Common Core State Standards.

ADWP hopes to recruit up to 15 educators to participate in the institute. There is an application and interview process that guides the selection of the “fellows.” Interviews will be held in April. Final selections will be made by May 1. Selected participants will receive a fellowship that provides graduate credit toward several College of Education master’s degree programs.

Beyond that, the participants will belong to the national network of more than 200 National Writing Project (NWP) sites on college campuses in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“The National Writing Project is the most significant coordinated effort to improve writing in America,” said Dr. Dixie Keyes, director of the Arkansas Delta Writing Project at ASU. “Through its professional development model, NWP develops the leadership, programs, and research needed for teachers to help students become successful writers and learners.”

This year’s summer institute is being funded by a Verizon Literacy Grant.

Over 35 Northeast Arkansas educators from kindergarten to college, in all content areas, have participated in the ADWP Summer Institute since the site became part of the NWP network in 2009. Some ADWP teachers have continued to participate in state and national conferences and in NWP continuity events where they share their professional knowledge and expertise. National Writing Project sites promote writing across all disciplines, considering writing as an important thinking tool for inquiry into all content areas, all of which will be highly relevant for implementation of the new national standards, the Common Core.

Central to the writing institute are teacher participants’ inquiries about writing instruction and corresponding demonstration lessons based in their expertise and classroom experiences. In addition, participants will inquire into innovations with technology integration into classroom practice, facilitated by technology experts from the Arkansas Delta Writing Project and ASU. Fellows experience writing on a personal level, following the National Writing Project model that “teachers of writing also write.”

"Teachers who attend NWP summer institutes return to their classrooms with new strategies for teaching writing and with experience using digital tools," said Sharon J. Washington, NWP Executive Director. "Eighty percent of Americans believe there is a greater need now than 20 years ago for a person to be able to write well in order to succeed. Summer institutes are one of many writing project programs that address this need."

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

Additional information may be obtained for “Arkansas Delta Writing Project” on the ASU website, www.astate.edu for more information or e-mail dkeyes@astate.edu.