The Chippewa River Writing Project (CRWP), as a site of the National Writing Project (NWP) at Central Michigan University, will further the mission of both organizations by improving the teaching and learning of writing in Michigan’s schools and local communities. CMU faculty and local teachers involved in the CRWP will focus outreach activities in mid- and northern Michigan that support the teaching and learning of writing.
Since our founding in 2009, we have developed relationships with teachers and schools that will support quality writing instruction and, in turn, will better prepare our students for college, work, and community service. Specific opportunities vary based on faculty and teacher interests and the site’s capacity, yet we strive to 1) strengthen CMU’s community outreach efforts, 2) invite local teachers – many of whom are CMU alumni – back for graduate course work, compete for additional grant and foundation monies, and 3) increase CMU presence in local, state, and national conversations about the teaching of English language arts.
Teachers who apply to participate in the Chippewa River Writing Project’s Invitational Summer Institute meet on CMU’s campus each day for four weeks to practice the art of writing, participate in reading and writing groups, and share their teaching practices with a group of supportive colleagues. Over the course of the summer, participants learn a variety of strategies for integrating writing into their classroom instruction. Since 2009, we have offered 3 full summer institutes serving 35 teachers as well as a one-week open institute this past summer focusing on the changes in writing related to the Common Core.
Teachers who complete the invitational summer institute are eligible to become “teacher consultants” for CRWP. In this role, they lead presentations at conferences and conduct PD workshops for their peers around the state of Michigan. Since 2009, we have delivered over 12,000 contact hours of PD to hundreds of teachers. Recent topics for our events include:
- 2012 MLK Day Writing Conference: “Writing and the Common Core: Genres, Digital Literacies, and Writing-to-Learn”
- “What’s the Big Idea?” 5-part Seminar Series and Jim Burke Workshop Day
- A series of workshops on writing and the common core standards, grades K-5 and 6-12, offered at four ISDs/RESDs around the state since the summer of 2011.
Working with local schools and intermediate school districts, CRWP has teamed with the following mid-Michigan partners on professional development events:
- Byron Area Schools
- Carson City-Crystal Schools
- Charlevoix-Emmet ISD
- Clare-Gladwin RESD
- CMU’s Center for Excellence in Education
- Gratioit-Isabella RESD
- Greenville Schools
- Kent County ISD
- National Writing Projects of Michigan
- Traverse Bay Area ISD
Since the summer of 2010, CRWP has offered three summers of various youth camp opportunities, inviting students to campus to learn about writing in a fun, engaging manner. This past summer also featured our first middle school writing and technology camp.
CRWP continues to seek opportunities to partner with community stakeholders and develop innovative literacy programs. For more information about CRWP, please visit our wiki site or contact our director, Troy Hicks.