summer program

Summer and/or Extended Institute Schedules, Outlines, and Adaptations

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Summary: Will you be leading a Invitational Summer Institute or a similarly deep and extended PD offering? Are you thinking about adapting your Invitational Summer Institute to include more online and less face-to-face time? Wondering how other sites are modifying the format of the traditional Summer Institute while maintaining the integrity of its goals, philosophies, and practices? This collection of resources can provide you with a window into how Writing Projects across the country are adapting structurally while holding true to the core tenets of the National Writing Project.
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Online Summer Institute: Extending the Invitation

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Author: Deanna Mascle, Vickie Moriarity, Liz Prather

Summary: Created as part of the Building New Pathways to Leadership initiative, this short monograph outlines the development, execution, and refinement of the Morehead Writing Project’s Online Summer Institute over the course of 8 years, including a variety of artifacts and links to the Google Site used to coordinate the institute. Site leaders developing their own online or hybrid summer institute may find this site’s experience useful.
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The Northern California Writing Project’s Hybrid Summer Institute Remix

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Summary: Created as part of the Building New Pathways to Leadership initiative, this Piktochart presentation documents the Northern California Writing Project’s creation of a Hybrid Summer Institute, as an alternative to the traditional multi-week, face-to-face institute. Site leaders interested in increasing the accessibility and flexibility of their professional development offerings may find inspiration and ideas from this presentation, documenting the NCWP’s story and approach and filled with flyers, agendas, video clips, and other artifacts.
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Reading, Writing, and Reflection in the Holocaust Educators Network

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Summary: Each summer for the past ten years, NWP teachers, many from rural sites, have participated in summer seminars offered by the The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI), a NYC-based organization dedicated to furthering the knowledge of teachers and students about human rights and social justice through the lens of the Holocaust and other genocides. TOLI seminars use an inquiry-based approach to provide educators with tools to heighten their students’ engagement with this sensitive subject matter, guiding students from shock and denial to compassion and social action. Teachers who complete the seminar become part of the Holocaust Educators Network.

Developed by Sondra Perl, one of the founders of the New York City Writing Project, TOLI seminars place writing at the center, both as a way for participants to process their learning and as a key dimension of the curriculum projects designed by participating teachers. If you are exploring ways to address issues of human rights and social justice in your work with other teachers or in your own classroom, check out the resources below to learn more about TOLI.
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Living History: Reading, Writing, and Learning in a National Park (NWP Radio)

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Summary: What happens when an NWP site teams up with a nearby National Park to create a learning experience for young people? Guests on this first of two NWP Radio episodes exploring the partnership between the National Writing Project and National Parks talk about the design and impact of summer youth writing programs for elementary and secondary students inspired by the rich treasures available inside a National Park.
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Summer and Extended Institute Marketing and Recruitment Materials

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Summary: Postcards, applications, and flyers, oh my! How do we sum up the magic that is an Invitational Institute? We can’t. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try. Flyers and other marketing materials, whether print or digital, can develop a distinct identity for a site and its programs and serve as an effective outreach tool to increase site visibility. This collection offers up tri-folds, postcards, flyers, and applications that different NWP sites have created to convey the essence of the Writing Project experience and generate interest in the opportunity to participate in a truly transformative professional development program.
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Redesigning the Summer Institute

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Summary: The first NWP Invitational Summer Institute in 1974 established a model professional development experience, the basic principles and elements of which have been sustained at local writing project sites over the decades since. But even the best program design invites constant evaluation and adaptation. Reflection is a hallmark of our work and attention to both new opportunities and the changing needs of teacher participants is a vital part of what makes NWP programs so successful. Noting three challenges that emerged over time in relation to their traditional ISI model; timing, teaching demonstrations, and sustaining TCs active engagement with the site beyond the institute, the Colorado State University Writing Project adapted their Invitational Institute’s program design to be responsive to both the challenges and opportunities they faced. This reflective piece is of particular interest to site leaders facing similar circumstances who are interested in following the theory of action and process that CSUWP followed in adapting and redesigning this core program.
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From Young Writers Camp to Young Adult Literacy Labs: CT Connecticut-Fairfield Finds New Ways to Revitalize Youth Programs

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Summary: The Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield’s adaptation of its traditional Young Writers Camp to a series of Young Adult Literacy Labs (YALLs) provides food for thought for site leaders designing new or considering changes to existing youth programming. The primary change was a move away from two large general writing camps to a dozen smaller genre-specific camps. The change, while attracting more participants, also allowed the site to integrate the camps and the Invitational Institute in some innovative ways, including creating opportunities for camp instructors to present workshops that engaged teachers and young writers in writing together. Importantly, the camps provide the site with a robust revenue line that fully supports the YALLs, provides student scholarships, and generates income for other site activities.
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Planning for Young Writers Camps

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Summary: Many writing project sites count on young authors’ camps to reach out to the community and bring in revenue. This resource is a planning tool that illustrates how the Fox Valley Writing Project thought through the decisions involved in launching a summer youth camp. Those looking to expand, revise, or begin summer youth writing programs may find this resource useful, as it 1) lists expectations for teachers leading camps, 2) provides budget “givens” and guidelines, and 3) outlines the many decisions camp leadership teams make in preparing for an engaging summer experience that also contributes to site income.
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The Journey of an Emerging Site Leader

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Author: Kathleen Ann Gonzalez

Summary: Are you taking on a new role at your writing project? Are you both excited and nervous? If so, then following Kathleen Gonzalez’s journey as she stepped into a key leadership at her site may help set you at ease. Her story confirms what we know deep down: trusting your writing project instincts and staying true to NWP core principles will lead to positive experiences and  outcomes. In the process of telling her story, Gonzalez shares several concrete strategies and suggestions for how to help writing groups develop community and maintain momentum throughout an institute.
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