2012 Summer Institute a great success

2012 Morehead Writing Project Summer Institute
2012 Morehead Writing Project Summer Institute

The Morehead Writing Project held its 26th annual Summer Institute June 4-29 on the campus of Morehead State University.

The 2012 SI was led by Summer Institute Co-Director Brandie Trent of Fleming County High School and Summer Institute Coordinator George McKee of EP Ward Elementary School in Fleming County as well as Morehead Writing Project Site Director Deanna Mascle of Morehead State University.

Two members of the Morehead Writing Project Leadership Team also provided leadership. In-Service Co-Director Jared Salyers of Morehead State University served as a mentor and writing group leader while Outreach Co-Director Tim Reding of Morehead State University served as a mentor. In addition, Terry Lewis of Rowan County High School and Mandy Lawson of Sheldon Clark High School in Martin County served as Returning Fellows. Returning Fellows mentored the 10 new Fellows and led writing groups and book study groups during the SI and will continue to serve as the Fellows complete their follow-up year focused on developing as writers, teachers, researchers, and leaders.

Seven counties were represented at the 2012 SI including:

  • Bath County represented by Diana Conyers Goodpaster of Owingsville Elementary
  • Carter County represented by Julia Tarr of West Carter High School and Megen Gearhart of Olive Hill Elementary
  • Fleming County represented by Wesley Cooper of Fleming County High School as well as SI leaders George McKee of EP Ward Elementary and Brandie Trent of Fleming County High School.
  • Lewis County represented by Brittany Moore of Lewis County Middle School
  • Martin County represented by Mandy Lawson of Sheldon Clark High School
  • Powell County represented by Christi Billings of Powell County Middle School
  • Rowan County represented by Terry Lewis of Rowan County High, Tiffanie Helterbrand of Tilden Hogge Elementary, Misty Litton of Rowan County High, Lindsay Ellis of Rowan County High, and Melissa Barnett Fickey of Tilden Hogge Elementary
  • Morehead State University represented by English instructors Jared Salyers and Tim Reding as well as Site Director Deanna Mascle

The work of SI included completing:

  • 36 polished writing selections
  • 12 digital stories
  • 12 teaching demonstrations
  • 11 inquiry projects planned
  • 20 celebrations of writing
  • 20 mini-lessons
  • 5+ writing group meetings
  • 3 guest speakers
  • 1 conference
  • 2+ reading group meetings
  • countless writing prompts
  • copious filled journal pages

The SI leaders brought in three guest speakers. These included MSU’s Writer-in-residence Crystal Wilkinson and Creative Writing Professor George Eklund plus Liz Prather, a former SI Leader and MWP Leadership Team member who now teaches creative writing at SCAPA at Lafayette High School.

In addition, all SI participants were able to attend the 2012 Morehead State University English Teacher Connection Conference.

Professional discussions during the SI addressed the needs of students K-16 across the content areas as well as digital literacy and the common core standards.

Technology was used extensively during the SI including using Edmodo to organize our class materials and Twitter to communicate. In addition, the Fellows explored a number of digital publication options including digital storytelling. Visit our Twitter archives and our digital anthology, “Under the Surface: Truths from the Diary of a Mad Teacher,” to learn more about our experiences and work.

Successfully completing a Summer Institute and follow-up year is the first step toward joining the National Writing Project (NWP) network. More than 3,000 teachers joined the National Writing Project network this summer. Fellows are chosen for the SI following a competitive application and interview process. The SI and Fellowships are funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Education and Kentucky Department of Education.

National research studies have shown that professional development programs designed and delivered by NWP sites have a positive effect on the writing achievement of students across grade levels, schools, and contexts. To learn more about this study, visit http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/3208.

NWP was founded in 1974 to improve the teaching of writing. NWP’s core belief is that teachers who write are better writing teachers. While writing is the central focus of NWP Summer Institutes, the teachers selected to participate in those invitational programs are also expected to grow as reflective practitioners, researchers, and leaders. Today, the NWP network has grown to nearly 200 sites and more than 70,000 teachers. Annually, the network offers more than 7,000 programs which serve more than 130,000 educators who in turn touch the lives of more than 1.4 million students.

The Morehead Writing Project (MWP)  offers programs designed locally to meet the specific needs of the students, teachers, and communities of Eastern Kentucky. Recently celebrating its 25th anniversary as an NWP site, MWP is one of the eight sites that make up the Kentucky Writing Project State Network. MWP’s involvement in the state and national networks offers teachers opportunities beyond MWP’s local programming including 2012 programs such as a Technology and Literacy Academy held at MSU and a Holocaust and Social Justice Education Seminar at Ohio State University. Currently, MWP is working with KWP and NWP on initiatives such as NWP’s Literacy in the Common Core and KWP’s Focus on English Language Learners.

Contact mwp@moreheadstate.edu or call              (606)273-2426       to learn more about MWP’s professional development offerings and applying for the 2013 Summer Institute. You can learn more about Morehead Writing Project at https://moreheadwritingproject.org or follow MWP on Facebook and Twitter.