Plymouth State College Joins National Writing Project

January 9th, 2002 by Adam

Plymouth State College celebrated the creation of the Plymouth Writers Project at a reception on the College campus on Tuesday, January 8. The Plymouth Writers Project is New Hampshire’s site of the National Writing Project (NWP), which kicked off the project with a grant of $20,000 for the project’s first year of activities.

“People at Plymouth State don’t just talk about writing, they do it. Wonderful things have been happening with writing at Plymouth for a long time. The Writing Project will be a great addition. I am so glad it has come to New Hampshire,” said Donald Graves, a leader in the field of teaching writing and author of The Energy to Teach, his most recent book.

NWP is a nationwide professional development program for teachers, begun in 1974 at the University of California, Berkeley. Its purpose is to improve student writing by improving the teaching of writing in the nation’s schools. The NWP receives federal funding which it currently grants to 167 local sites in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. Sites operate from university campuses and collaborate with surrounding schools and districts. Collectively, these sites serve more than 130,000 teachers every year, grades kindergarten through university, in all disciplines. The NWP model is based on the belief that teachers are the key to education reform, teachers make the best teachers of other teachers, and teachers benefit from studying and conducting research.

“The National Writing Project welcomes the Plymouth Writing Project,” said Mary Ann Smith, co-director of the National Writing Project. “We have wanted a site in New Hampshire for years. The proposal from Meg Petersen and her group was outstanding. We see so much depth in this community and expect to learn from its work.”

Coming under the Plymouth Writers Project umbrella, are several programs at Plymouth State, including the:

· Intensive Summer Invitation Institute for Teachers, an annual summer writing program for outstanding primary, secondary and college-level teachers to work on their own writing as well as writing instruction;

· Plymouth Writers Group, an association of teacher/writers who publish anthologies of teachers’ writing (Love and Trouble, the seventh anthology, is due out this fall);

· High School Voices, publishing writing from high school students in New Hampshire;

· Young Writers Conference, an annual one-day conference for high school-aged writers in New Hampshire to share their writing and learn from others;

· Master of Education in English program in the Teaching of Writing, a master’s degree program designed for writers who teach and teachers who write.

For more information about the Plymouth Writers Project, contact Associate Professor of English Meg Petersen at (603) 535-2684 or megp@mail.plymouth.edu.