On March 15, bloggers from across the nation began sharing #Blog4NWP posts with staff from the U.S. DOE and the President of the United States about the importance of the National Writing Project to educators and the young people they serve. As of 10 p.m. on April 7, 340 posts had been published at the Cooperative Catalysts’ website by Chad Sansing, a teaching fellow for the Central Virginia Writing Project.Thousands of tweets have flown around the globe encouraging the @EdPressSec , @Ed_Outreach, @whitehouse, @USEdgov and @barackobama to restore funding to the National Writing Project.
The evidence is clear. The National Writing Project gets results. It’s a “bang for the bucks” program that has touched hundreds of thousands of teachers and millions of students. It works because of a simple social learning networking strategy. You go to a project institute and become a writing teacher and a writer. You agree to work with teachers in your own school and share strategies you’ve learned. Teachers participate in school-based writers’ workshops and then work to invest learners in writing with a variety of purposes in mind. Students learn to draft, revise, edit and publish. Young people who work with teachers who’ve participated in National Writing Project workshops write with greater facility, voice, and commitment than those in the classes of teachers not trained as #NWP teachers. They learn to research, apply, analyze, evaluate, and create in their writing.
The National Writing Project doesn’t fit the descriptor of pork barrel, or belly, politics. Teachers and young people in every state benefit from this program. It’s consistent with the President Obama’s recent message about the importance of engaging, not boring, young people in our classrooms. It comes closer to meeting international benchmarks for learning performance than just about anything else USDOE has sponsored over the years. It’s consistent with the well-crafted National Educational Technology Plan, truly a national learning plan.
The writers who’ve contributed to the #Blog4NWP movement believe in their power to change the opinions and perspectives of politicians and political appointees in Washington. They’ve written their hearts out over the last three weeks making the case for restoration of funding to the National Writing Project.
They’re living proof that an “audacity of hope” can be sustained through the united voices of young people, parents, educators, and community members who believe that effective, indeed eloquent, writing has been a cornerstone of our nation since Thomas Jefferson first sat at a desk and penned,