Laura Lennox Ifill contributes this #blog4nwp post to the Coöp.
I participated in the Hudson Valley Writing Project during the summer of 2010 and was devastated to hear that the funding for the Project would be cut. Participation in this group of collaborative teachers has been the most beneficial professional experience of my teaching career. I have been to numerous professional development seminars, workshops, and conferences; none of them compare to how much I learned during four weeks with the Writing Project.
The best measurement of professional development is not what you learned or how much you enjoyed yourself, but in the quantifiable results seen in your classroom. Since my experience with HVWP, I have been able to apply what I have learned and achieve complete participation in my creative writing classes at Kingston High School in Kingston NY. I have also seen a spike in the attendance rate in my classes, a difficult achievement in a low achieving school district. Using the ideas I learned with The Writing Project, I have created a classroom environment students want to be in.
The National Writing Project makes better teachers, better experiences for students, and shows immediate results in academic achievement. Funding must be restored.