What is the Upstate Writing Project?
The Upstate Writing Project (UWP) is an official Nation Writing Project (NWP) site. It is supported by financial and professional resources of Clemson University and local school districts. In keeping with the NWP model, UWP has the following primary goals: To improve students’ writing abilities by improving the teaching and learning of writing in the nation’s schools, Provide professional development programs for classroom teachers, and Expand the professional roles of teachers. In addition, the UWP is part of the South Carolina Writing Project. State initiatives include supporting the Writing Improvement Network’s Fall Writing Conference and the SDE Exemplary Writing Program.
What is the National Writing Project?
The National Writing Project (NWP) is a nationwide professional development program for teachers, begun in 1974 at the University of California, Berkeley. The primary goal of the project is to improve student writing achievement by improving the teaching of writing in the nation's schools. The NWP receives federal funding which it currently grants to 175 local sites in 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Collectively, these sites serve approximately 100,000 teachers every year, in all grades, in all disciplines. The NWP model is based on the belief that teachers are the key to education reform, teachers make the best teachers of other teachers, and teachers benefit from studying and conducting research.
Upstate Writing Project Programs
The Upstate Writing Projects offers a variety of programs to meet the needs of local school districts. The programs fall into the three categories described below. Please contact the UWP office for additional information.
The Invitational Summer Institute
Each summer, exemplary teachers come together in a four -week long summer institute where they demonstrate and examine their classroom practice, study the latest research about teaching writing, and develop their own writing skills. As a result of these activities, teachers are better prepared for their own classrooms and for teaching other teachers. This teachers-teaching-teachers idea is the heart of the writing project. Our Summer Institute is held during June.
The writing project has it greatest impact on the greatest number of teachers through its inservice programs. It is the National Writing Project's policy to offer inservice workshops in series, not as single sessions. They take place in schools, on university campuses, in regional education centers-wherever teachers can come together to learn from each other. Inservice programs are designed to meet the needs of local teachers and schools. The distinguishing characteristic of our inservice programs is teachers teaching teachers.
The UWP project offers teachers a range of programs for continued learning and support. Our continuity programs include monthly First Year Program meetings, advanced summer institutes, the Book Club, teacher research groups, ongoing writing groups, programs for teachers with common interests (i.e. writing across the curriculum, early literacy, English language learners), a Winter Institute, and university seminar series.