The Connecticut Writing Project at Fairfield University invites teachers and young writers to practice their craft


Image: Connecticut Writing ProjectThe Connecticut Writing Project (CWP) at Fairfield University will offer eight programs for advanced writers, teachers and young writers this summer, including two sections of its popular Young Writers' Institute.

The Young Writers' Institute, which is open to students entering grades 6 through 11, allows students to explore many aspects of writing and have the opportunity to talk with published writers from the area. The CWP teacher/consultants who team-teach the Institute are exemplary, credentialed teachers in local schools. They strive to provide an exciting, challenging and rewarding learning experience for all participants.

This year the Institute will run two sections for grades 6 through 8 and 9 through 11, respectively, for a total of 80 students. The sections will run from July 1 through July 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students must submit an application, a writing sample, and a teacher recommendation, which will be reviewed by a committee of teacher/consultants. The cost to attend is $650, which includes lunch. Transportation and partial scholarships are available.

"The Young Writers' Institute has been enthusiastically received by many young writers, so many, in fact, that we will be running two sections this summer. Many of the participants are returning for their second and third summers, having found their previous experience rewarding," CWP-Fairfield Director Faye Gage said. "The opportunity to talk with published writers, to work with teacher/mentors, and to share their writing with peers is what writers need and what the institute provides."

Adult writers are invited to engage in a variety of activities designed to awaken them from "writer's slump," and to encourage them to enter new territory, in a relaxed, non-judgmental atmosphere.

The Advanced Institute for Writers, which runs from July 18 through July 23, is designed to offer graduates of CWP summer institutes, and other writers, the opportunity to spend five days reflecting, re-igniting and writing. Tuition for the Advanced Institute for Writers is $150 for CWP alumni, $250 for others. Participants can stay in on-campus housing for an additional $200. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

CWP-Fairfield will also offer six summer institutes designed for teachers throughout June and July, most of which can be taken for graduate credit.

"The institutes for teachers provide a place where both new and experienced teachers can meet to share their successes, to reflect on the challenges of teaching literacy, to learn from master teacher/facilitators and to hone their own literacy skills," Gage said. "Many teachers find these institutes an efficient and satisfying way to keep abreast of new research, validated practices and proven strategies for helping students become more engaged and more proficient readers and writers. We have many testimonies from participants of the value of this renewing and energizing way to interact with other teachers who care deeply about their own professional development and the effect their learning has on their students."

The Summer Institute in the Teaching of Writing is open to sixteen teachers of grades K through 13, who will become Fellows of CWP-Fairfield. The Institute focuses on writing, research, presentations, and discussions of literacy issues for students of diverse backgrounds. Participants are granted six graduate credits or receive a small stipend. Upon successful completion of the Institute, Fellows become teacher/consultants who lead in-service sessions.

The Early Literacy Institute will examine current, research-based practices for effective early literacy instruction in the K through 2 classroom. Participants will explore the important components of successful reading/writing development: comprehension strategies, phonological development, fluency and vocabulary instruction.

The Institute for Exploring Writing Craft: Grades 2-5, designed for experienced teachers in grades 3 through 5, will explore a variety of writing strategies that support students' growth as they move from the initial stages of writing to crafting. Participants will also explore language development in English Language Learners (ELL) and low-income students.

Experienced teachers of grades 7 through 12 are invited to take part in the Institute of Teaching of Writing at the Secondary Level. Focusing on teaching, writing and learning, the Institute integrates theory and practice for teachers. Participants will learn strategies that help students achieve their potential as writers.

Topics in the Institute of Teaching of Writing at Secondary Level include: critical perspectives on writing instruction, evaluation and assessment of writing, writing workshops, writing across the curriculum, writing and technology, incorporating state standards and classroom methods for teaching writing, and addressing the needs of diverse populations.

Also geared toward teachers of grades 7 through 12 is the Institute on the Teaching of Literature. Participants will read and discuss contemporary literature in various genres to explore their own experience as readers of literature and to understand ways that they and their students can respond to and write about literary texts. Participants will also become familiar with instructional strategies that can help students become attentive and thoughtful readers, while preparing them for success on the CAPT.

The Institute for Teachers of English Language Learners (ELL) is for teachers of students whose native language is not English. Both mainstream K through 12 Language Arts/English teachers and ELL teachers will benefit from the Institute, which will teach participants to assess ELL students' writing and discuss the most effective way to help their students improve.

Tuition for the teacher institutes, other than the Summer Institute in the Teaching of Writing, is $495. Participants may also elect to receive three graduate credits at an additional cost of $760, pending approval by the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions.

CWP-Fairfield is in its fourth year at Fairfield University. It has trained more than 300 teachers, kindergarten through college, in areas such as math, science, history, English and language arts. The goals of CWP-Fairfield include improving the writing and learning skills of students' in kindergarten through college; extending the uses of writing in all disciplines; providing schools, colleges and universities with an effective professional development model and identifying, celebrating and enhancing the professional role of successful classroom teachers.

Information and applications for all summer institutes are available by contacting Chris Lawton at (203) 254-4000, ext. 3124 or cwp@mail.fairfield.edu, or by visiting the website www.faculty.fairfield.edu/fgage/cwp/default.htm. The deadline to register for all of the adult institutes is May 1.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 21, 2004

Vol. 36, No. 260