National Writing Project grant supports Willamette's teacher leadership programs

The Oregon Writing Project at the Graduate School of Education has received a $20,000 grant from the National Writing Project to enhance its teacher leadership programs.

The Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) Teacher Leadership Development Grant will allow professor Karen Hamlin and her colleagues Jennifer Roberts, Angela Obery and Nancy Fischer to develop focus areas for the Oregon Writing Project’s Summer Institute and the GSE’s Certificate in the Teaching of Writing.

With the support of the grant, Hamlin hopes to better prepare teachers for the growing challenges they face in the classroom.

“Teachers in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, like teachers across the nation, are overwhelmed with the increasing demands of teaching larger classes with more diversity of student-learning needs and, at the same time, redesigning their curriculum to meet the demands of the Common Core Standards,” Hamlin says.

This is the 16th consecutive year that Hamlin and the Oregon Writing Project at Willamette have received funding from the National Writing Project to support excellence in the teaching of writing.

During the summer, 13 teacher leaders will complete the Certificate in the Teaching of Writing program. With the help of the grant, the Oregon Writing Project aims to support these teachers in continuing their research and sharing their knowledge with other teachers.
“Tired and overwhelmed teachers are seeking a professional community where they and their work are respected, where they have the time and space to do work that is deeply meaningful to them and where the environment is a safe and nurturing place to have critical conversations,” Hamlin says. “With this grant funding, the Oregon Writing Project can provide teachers with that professional home.”

The National Writing Project is a network of 210 university sites that aim to increase the quality of student literacy and writing through programs that improve teachers’ knowledge, understanding and teaching.

The Oregon Writing Project is offering Young Writers Camps this August. Information can be found on either the Oregon Writing Program website or the Willamette Summer Camps website.