Sunday, April 18, 2010

National Writing Project At Risk

The Book Whisperer did a post recently on proposed funding cuts to Reading is Fundamental and the National Writing Project. I'm guessing the National Writing Project isn't as well known as Reading is Fundamental. At one of my listservs, for instance, there was a lot of concern voiced over RIF losing funding, but no one even mentioned the NWP.

Though my experience with the group has been limited (I served as a workshop leader at a writers' conference a few times and attended a symposium once, which was quite terrific), I would describe the NWP as providing writing training to teachers, working on the theory that teachers who write well will be better able to teach the subject. Keep in mind that the National Writing Project functions through a network of local projects, which makes its programming accessible to many areas of the country. I would also assume--and hope-- that the local connection would make it possible to fine tune offerings to local needs.

Though I can't pretend any great knowledge as to how well the program works, I've always thought the basic concept sounded worthwhile, and I think the site I'm familiar with, The Connecticut Writing Project at UConn, offered opportunities to area teachers and students that they wouldn't otherwise have had. So, yes, I hope we'll be able to find some money to keep this thing going.

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