University of Rochester

Genesee Valley Writing Project Sets 2010 Summer Institute Deadline for March 1

January 11, 2010

National Literacy Expert to Lead Local Writing Project for Teachers

The Genesee Valley Writing Project (GVWP) is accepting applications for its 2010 Summer Institute, which brings together public and private school teachers from across Monroe County and surrounding counties, in all grade levels and all disciplines, for a month of intensive reading, writing, research, and practice. Applications must be submitted by March 1.

The four-week Annual Summer Institute, the heart of the Genesee Valley Writing Project, will meet from July 6 through 30 at the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education. The Institute will be directed by Professor Joanne Larson, a leading scholar in new literacies who works toward empowering students to achieve the kinds of literacy needed to be successful. Her investigations on literacy practices are distinguished by her partnerships with practicing teachers and school-based educators.

The Genesee Valley Writing Project will provide a $100 stipend to each participant and three graduate credits, tuition-free, in education from the Warner School. Applicants must be practicing teachers who embrace writing and literacy as central components of learning in the classroom and who are looking for innovative ways to integrate literacy practices into student learning. Twenty outstanding teachers from all disciplines and at all levels of instruction, from pre-kindergarten to university, will be selected as 2010 Fellows.

"The Summer Institute brings together teachers from urban, suburban, and rural schools to explore their own philosophies of teaching writing and to engage in research that strengthens their knowledge, skills, and dispositions toward the teaching of writing," says Larson. "It is a valuable way for educators to share ideas and hone their own writing and to learn a variety of ways to implement authentic writing practices into their own classrooms while developing close ties with professionals from around the area."

Using a teachers-teaching-teachers approach to help pre-kindergarten through college-level teachers advance and support writing and literacy development throughout area schools, the Summer Institute features collaborative writing/editing response groups, teacher demonstration/inquiry projects, and reading research groups that draw from local and national literacy expertise. Participating teachers have the opportunity to study classroom strategies for teaching writing, read and discuss research, and improve their knowledge by writing themselves.

A recent national public opinion survey, Writing, A National Pastime, Takes New Forms, found the majority of Americans view good writing skills as essential to success in college and the workplace. However, just 17 percent believe that when students graduate from high school they have the writing skills they need for college, and 75 percent say the U.S. K-12 education system should put more emphasis on the teaching of writing. That's according to the National Writing Project (NWP), with which the Genesee Valley Writing Project is affiliated.

A grant from the NWP funds the Fellows' participation. After the Institute, participants become members of the Genesee Valley Writing Project and National Writing Project and are invited to participate in ongoing professional development related to teaching and writing and other writing project activities. Some of these follow-up activities include community outreach programs, school-based inservice workshops, collaborative partnerships, and teacher study groups.

The NWP is the most significant coordinated effort to improve writing in America. NWP sites, located on more than 200 university and college campuses, serve over 135,000 participants annually. Through its professional development model, NWP develops the leadership, programs, and research needed for teachers to help students become successful writers and learners. To learn more about the NWP, visit

To receive an application or for more information about the GVWP 2010 Summer Institute, visit, or contact Joanne Larson at (585) 275-0900 or by e-mail at

About the Warner School of Education
Founded in 1958, the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education offers master's and doctoral degree programs in teaching and curriculum, school leadership, higher education, counseling, human development, and educational policy. The Warner School of Education offers a new accelerated option for its Ed.D. programs that allows eligible students to earn a doctorate in education in as few as three years part time while holding a professional job in the same field. The Warner School of Education is recognized both regionally and nationally for its tradition of preparing practitioners and researchers to become leaders and agents of change in schools, universities, and community agencies; generating and disseminating research; and actively participating in education reform.