CRWP Announces 2010 Teacher Participants

Announcing the Chippewa River Writing Project’s 2010 Invitational Summer Institute Participants

On Monday, May 10, 2010, sixteen teachers — representing both local and out-of-state elementary, middle, and high schools as well as Central Michigan and Saginaw Valley universities — will meet at CMU’s Educational Services building to kick off our second annual Chippewa River Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute. As a site of the National Writing Project, participants for the institute are selected through a competitive application process and bring a variety of classroom experiences to this second cohort of future teacher leaders.


Participants in this summer’s invitational include:

  • Amanda Bruce, Covenent House Lifeskills Center West
  • Erin Busch-Grabmeyer, St. Louis High School
  • Rose Daum, La Salle High School
  • Janis Germain, Mount Pleasant High School
  • Jeremy Hyler, Fulton Middle School
  • Delia King, Crystal Elementary
  • Jodi Mata, Central Michigan University
  • Elizabeth Miller, Oakwood Elementary
  • Kelly Murphy, Midland High School
  • Rosalyn Nedry, Mosaic School
  • Andrea Palmer, Alma High School
  • Linda Patton, Hillcrest Elementary School
  • Bridget Rise, Beaverton Middle School
  • Andrew Schoenborn, Mount Pleasant High School
  • Kayleen Schumacher, Saginaw Valley State University
  • Jill Wilson, Farwell Elementary School

Members of the CRWP Leadership Team participating in the summer institute include:

  • Elizabeth Brockman, Central Michigan University
  • Susan Steffel, Central Michigan University
  • Penny Lew, Farwell Middle School
  • Kathy Kurtze, Carson City-Crystal High School
  • Troy Hicks, Central Michigan University
  • April Sherman, Central Michigan University

Participants will meet from June 14th through July 9th at the CMU Writing Center. You can follow their work as it unfolds this summer on the CRWP wiki:


CRWP Director Featured on NWP’s BlogTalkRadio

As one of three featured guests on the February 11, 2010, episode of the National Writing Project’s periodic web-based radio show, BlogTalkRadio, CRWP Director Troy Hicks talked about the ways in which writing project sites choose readings for their summer institute participants.

NWP BlogTalkRadio (2-11-10)

Hicks focused his attention on how the CRWP Leadership Team invites participants to read selections that encompass five broad themes:

  • To get an overview of the NWP, as well as its principles and practices;
  • To be inspired as a writer;
  • To begin thinking about teacher research;
  • To better understand digital writing; and
  • To engage in one’s own personal inquiry about the teaching of writing.

Moreover, he discussed the ways in which CRWP teachers use the discussion forum features of their wiki to carry on professional conversations about the texts that they read, as well as the ways in which participants last summer created podcasts as a response to a text about digital writing.

As the CRWP Leadership Team continues to plan for the 2010 Summer Institute, they will continue to build on these themes to find books, articles, and online readings that will enhance participants’ experiences over the four week invitational.

As a way to begin that conversation, we wonder… what professional texts do you think would be worth considering for this summer?

CRWP Article from The News@CMU

An article by Tracy Burton featuring CRWP is now up and available on the News@CMU website:

‘Teachers teaching teachers’ focus of National Writing Project site at CMU

After 29 years of teaching high school English, Kathy Kurtze returned to her classroom this fall with a set of fresh ideas and resources she gathered from her experiences with the Chippewa River Writing Project — a site of the National Writing Project now at Central Michigan University.

Kurtze was among 13 teachers representing K-12 school districts, Mid Michigan Community College and CMU, who participated in the first CRWP institute.

“The most exciting part was being introduced to new teaching approaches,” said Kurtze, who teaches at Carson City High School. “The whole aspect of bringing technology into the writing process was brand new to me. Now, I’m excited to bring it into my lessons. I want my students to do podcasts and learn about how this enhances our writing.”

Sharing resources is one of the main goals of the National Writing Project, which operates with the concept of teachers teaching teachers and a mission to improve the teaching of writing and learning among kindergarten through college students.

Kathy Kurtze, an English teacher at Carson City High School, works on a journal entry about a recent writing assignment.

Photo by Robert Barclay
CMU University Communications

CRWP Summer Institute Concludes Successfully, School Year Programs Begin

CRWP 2009 Summer Insitute Participants
CRWP 2009 Summer Insitute Participants

Participants in this year’s inaugural Chippewa River Writing Project Summer Institute found over their four weeks together the time, energy, and support that they needed as writers and teachers of writing.

One anonymous evaluation comment summarized the feelings of many in stating, “After this summer, I feel so much more prepared to teach writing in my classroom.  I have also vowed to write with my students and to take the time each day to write for myself.”

Each day, participants in the institute gathered to write for themselves and engage in activities related to the teaching of writing. At the end of the institute, each participant produced a portfolio of personal and professional writing, many of which can be found as links to their digital portfolios on the CRWP wiki.

At the end of the institute, Kathy Kurtze, an English teacher at Carson City Crystal High School, was announced as CRWP’s second K-12 co-director. From the CHSBS News site, she states:

“This has awakened a new need for me to know my writing and make changes,” said Kathy Kurtze of Carson City who has been teaching at Carson City-Crystal Middle School for 29 years. “From being students again, we all seem to have a renewed empathy toward our own students.”

Participants who completed the summer institute and are now teacher consultants affiliated with CRWP include:

  • Alicia Ciaramitaro, Collins Elementary, Houghton Lake Community Schools
  • Lucia Elden, Mid Michigan Community College
  • Louis “Bud” Kanyo, Mid Michigan Community College
  • Megan Kowalski, Central Michigan University
  • Kathy Kurtze, Carson City-Crystal High School
  • Rita Maddox, Retired from Gratiot-Isabella RESD
  • Gretchen Martin, Farwell Elementary School
  • Deborah Meister, Fellowship Baptist Academy in Carson City
  • Elizabeth Nelson, Greenville High School
  • Ashley Patton, North Elementary, Ithaca Public Schools
  • Shannon Powell, Central Montcalm Middle School
  • Amanda Smoker, Meridian Junior High School
  • Chanda Wekwert, Hillman Jr. and Sr. High School

CRWP events will continue this fall for both teacher consultants from this summer’s institute and other local educators. Plans for professional development events are underway and the CRWP leadership team will attend the National Writing Project’s Annual Meeting this November in Philadelphia.