Sunday, September 4, 2011

Wherefore the National Writing Project?

Bill Tucker

We wish we knew. The National Writing Project persists, with its annual meeting (Chicago, November 18), with its online network (see NWP Connects below), with its targeted grant programs, but no one has stepped up to renew funding as we have known it these eighteen years.

NWP is applying for Title II (professional development) funding, but federal funding is a big question mark for the immediate future.

NWP has received targeted funding from national foundations, such as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Common Core State Standards curricula) and the MacArthur Foundation (Digital Is) for specific projects, and these initiatives will continue. EMWP has benefited from the Gates Foundation award with a $5,000 mini-grant to study Disciplinary Literacy (see related article).

But when we look to next summer, we cannot depend on the NWP to support a summer institute. That is why we are investigating local foundations and resources, such as district fellowships for teachers to attend the summer institute. If you know of local foundations which might be interested in supporting local professional development initiatives for teachers, please let Bill know. No dollar left behind!

Keep after your Congressional representatives to support professional development funding. Please write and call on every occasion. No one should say at the end of this session of Congress that they didn’t know there was a need.

Long live the National Writing Project!

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