Grant to Improve Teaching of Writing in Local Schools

April 22, 2014

Great Valley Writing Project at CSU Stanislaus Receives $20,000 to Fund Two Programs Designed to Provide Teaching and Leadership for K-12 Educators

The Great Valley Writing Project (GVWP) at California State University, Stanislaus has received a $20,000 grant to help improve the teaching of writing in local schools.

The funding, which will be spread over two years, comes by way of the National Writing Project’s SEED Teacher Leadership Development Grant program and is contingent on continued funding from the U.S. Department of Education. The GVWP is a network of experienced classroom teachers — known as teacher consultants — who provide professional learning opportunities to local K-12 teachers.

“Teacher leaders are at the heart of the Great Valley Writing Project,” said Stephanie Paterson, a CSU Stanislaus English professor and co-director of GVWP. “Our focus is to support classroom teachers in their development as leaders in the teaching of writing. Developing leadership capacities has been critical to the success of the work we do.”

The GVWP proposal was for two programs, both of which will be held at the CSU Stanislaus Stockton Center:

  • the Invitational Summer Institute, a four-week intensive study of writing, reading, research and leadership for 16 teachers selected through an application and interview process; and
  • the Professional Learning and Leadership Academy for GVWP teacher consultants, focusing on building leadership capacity to meet the needs of teachers addressing Common Core State Standards.

Both programs will help further CSU Stanislaus President Joseph F. Sheley’s mission to improve writing not just among college students, but also among students at all grade levels in the region.

As Sheley outlined in his annual address in the fall, writing is the one skill that most often separates students, job applicants and employees in almost any line of work.

“Good writing requires and enhances the ability to think critically, to research, to formulate arguments, to persuade, and to empathize with one’s audience, whether that audience is an employer, a customer, a constituent, a professor or a student,” Sheley said. “Writing is a skill that can benefit nearly anyone in nearly any circumstance, professionally and personally. And it is a lifelong practice.”

James Leonard

jleonard1@csustan.edu