The Connecticut Writing Project at Fairfield University offers a host of workshops for teachers and young writers


The Connecticut Writing Project (CWP) at Fairfield University will offer eight writing programs, including an exciting opportunity for aspiring writers in grades 6 through 10, on campus this summer.

The courses, some of which can be taken for graduate credit, are geared toward advanced writers, teachers and young writers. Programs for teachers include such topics as early literacy, teaching for the elementary and high school levels, teaching literature and instructing students whose native language is not English.

"Connecticut Writing Project is a lot of things," said CWP Director Faye Gage. "It's a place for renewal. It's a place to come and learn more about current research. It's a place where teachers can come to talk about what works and what doesn't work in the classroom."

One focus this summer will be the Young Writers' Institute, which runs July 7 through 18. Now in its third year, the program offers 60 students in grades 6 through 10 a chance to create new pieces of writing, share their work with others, gain confidence, listen to guest writers and publish their work in an anthology. The course is team-taught by exemplary, credentialed local teachers who are CWP teacher/consultants.

"We're finding more and more kids want to find time for writing and working with other youngsters who really love writing," said CWP Director Faye Gage. "You can find other kids who want to play soccer or other activities, but it's hard to find kids who want to write, so they really respond to this."

Past participants have given the program high marks.

"This institute has made it obvious to me that writing is my true passion," one Newtown eighth-grader wrote in the final anthology. "All doubt was drowned by the constant support of my instructors and fellow students."

The group will meet daily from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and lunch will be provided. Transportation and partial scholarships are also available.

Tuition is $600. To apply, students must submit an application, a writing sample and a teacher recommendation. A committee of teacher/consultants will choose the participants.

CWP is also offering a workshop for seasoned writers who want to indulge themselves with a week of writing. Participants in the Advanced Institute for Writers will be given a variety of writing activities to awaken them from "writer's slump" and challenge them to try new techniques in a relaxed, non-judgmental atmosphere.

The Advanced Institute for Writers runs from July 20 through July 25. Hours are 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tuition is $150 and participants may choose to stay in campus housing at an additional cost of $200.

Teachers can choose from six summer programs through CWP. Tuition for each is $495 and participants may elect three graduate credits at an additional cost of $700 pending approval by the Fairfield University Graduate School of Education and Applied Professions.

The Early Literacy Institute, which runs from June 30 through July 15, will examine current, research-based practices for effective early literacy instruction in the kindergarten through second grade classroom. Participants will explore comprehension strategies, phonics, fluency and vocabulary with emphasis on strategies that meet the needs of children of diverse backgrounds. The hours are 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Institute for Exploring Writing Craft is designed for elementary teachers in grades 2 through 5. Running from July 14 through 25, the program will consider strategies that support students' growth as they move from early writing into crafting, with a primary focus on the management of Writer's Workshop and other classroom structures. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Institute on the Teaching of Writing at the Secondary Level will run from July 7 through 18. A program for experienced teachers in grades 7 through 12, this institute will consider critical perspectives on writing instruction, evaluation and assessment, writing and technology, writing across the curriculum and addressing the needs of diverse populations. Hours are 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Participants in the Institute on the Teaching of Literature will read and discuss contemporary literature in various genres and explore strategies to help students become attentive and thoughtful readers, while preparing them for success on the CAPT, a standard test for 10th-graders. The program runs from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. from June 30 through July 11.

The Institute for Teachers of English Language Learners (ELL) will run from June 30 through July 11. The course is designed for both mainstream K-12 teachers and ELL teachers and will address writing assessment and ways to help students improve. The hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Summer Institute in the Teaching of Writing, running from June 30 through July 11, includes 16 teachers invited to become Fellows in the Connecticut Writing Project at Fairfield University. The program focuses on writing, research, presentations and discussions of literary issues for students of diverse backgrounds. Participants are granted six graduate credits or receive a small stipend. With successful completion of this institute, Fellows become teacher/consultants who lead in-service sessions. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Applications for all institutes are available by contacting Chris Lawton at (203) 254-4000, ext. 3124 or clawton@mail.fairfield.edu. The deadline is May 15.

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

Posted on April 21, 2003

Vol. 35, No. 272