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Shepherd designated National Writing Project site, to host June 6-15 institute

ISSUED: 18 May 2022

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University has been designated as a National Writing Project (NWP) site and will host an inaugural invitational institute June 6-15 for all educators from kindergarten through college.

The institute will focus on engaged writing across the curriculum and will combine online learning communities with half-day, in-person workshops that will take place from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The registration fee is $100 and includes materials, refreshments, and up to six continuing education credits. To learn more and to sign up for the institute, visit Shepherd’s National Writing Project webpage.

The National Writing Project is a federally funded program that supports the teaching and learning of writing nationwide. Shepherd joins a network of 170 NWP sites spanning all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“The Shepherd NWP will be an important site of literacy instruction for our local community,” said Dr. Christy I. Wenger, Shepherd NWP executive director. “We will provide professional development opportunities for local teachers from across the curriculum and throughout all grades so they can learn more about effective practices for teaching and learning writing from childhood to adulthood.”

Wenger said as it grows, Shepherd’s NWP plans to offer teacher institutes, writing retreats, learning communities, and student-focused academic enrichment. It will offer professional development programs for local educators at all grade levels from kindergarten through college, as well as special programs for students that will focus on academic achievement in all areas of literacy development.

The Shepherd NWP will take advantage of the resources and strengths of the area, celebrating Appalachian literacy, working closely with the Shenandoah Valley Writing Project, and striving to improve writing proficiency in West Virginia and surrounding areas.

“Our mission is to listen to the local education communities to determine what is needed and to respond with programs and support that meet those needs,” she said. “Our goal is to create resilient educators who can respond to the new challenges of literacy in today’s global, digital, and interconnected world. Supporting our teachers to increase student success has never been more important than right now, as we deal with the long-lasting impacts of COVID on learning and literacy.”

Dr. LeAnn Johnson, associate professor of education and Master of Arts in Teaching coordinator, and Dr. Brian Santana, instructor of English, will serve as site coordinators.

The Shepherd NWP was made possible by a generous start-up grant from the Shepherd University President’s Club. To learn more, visit the National Writing Project website.

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