Cathy Fleischer, Co-director
“Everyone is a writer!” That’s the message behind NCTE’s National Day on Writing/National Gallery on Writing—a time to celebrate, promote, and explore the amazing variety of writing that all of us (parents, teachers, students, community members) do in our everyday lives (from blogs and emails to poems and memos and everything in between).
NCTE encourages all of us to get involved with this day in at least two ways:
First, become a part of the National Gallery of Writing. This online “virtual” gallery will post thousands of pieces of writing from writers across the nation. Any school or community group can sponsor a “room” in the gallery, adding submissions from their group, as long as someone serves as “curator.” And submissions can start pouring into the gallery in the next few months. The gallery will be officially opened to the public on October 20 (to correspond with the National Day), and will stay open until at least June 2010.
Second, sponsor events promoting writing on the National Day on Writing—in your school or community. You might host a writing marathon, a poetry slam, an inservice for parents—anything to demonstrate both the fun and the importance of writing.
EMPW is joining an effort at EMU to make writing a huge part of the fall 2009 semester. Among our activities on October 20:
Writing Marathon: Maps will be available with several routes around campus (long, short, varying stops), along with directions on how to participate. Writers will return to a central location afterward to share writing and reflect on their experience.
WritingCorps: Modeled after NPR’s StoryCorps, WritingCorps invites participants to reflect (on audio or video) on a piece of writing that is meaningful to them.
Writing activities: Several stations will give writers a chance to try out some short kinds of writing, designed both to be fun and to inspire more writing.
Roving Reporters: Writers will have a chance to check out a Flip video camera and a “press pass” and have 20 minutes to walk around campus to interview faculty, students, and staff about their writing practices.
And all of the writing from that day will be posted on our EMU gallery.
We’d love to have EMWPers join in the fun on that day! Think about the activities you might want to pursue involving your students, faculty and staff, administrators, and/or parents (either activities for the day or contributions to the online gallery) and let us know what you’re doing and how we can help.
• Think about some ways to promote writing in your own school communities on October 20: a writing marathon, a focus on writing in every class, an evening event with parents and students. . . .There’s no limit to the imaginative and innovative ways you might approach this.
• Consider connecting with the pre-service teachers at EMU: Ask your K-12 students to write about their writing and have a pre-service teacher respond (contact Cathy Fleischer to set that up: firstname.lastname@example.org).
• Set up a gallery on the NCTE site for your students to contribute a piece of writing that is meaningful to them in some way. You can learn more about how to do that at http://www.ncte.org/action/dayonwriting.
• Notify the EMWP Office on your school's plans for NDoW. We’re going to set up a googlemap with pinpoints for all the sites that are joining in.
• Write an article for eMuse reporting what you did on NDOW.