by Julie Lineback
The University of West Georgia’s Cherokee Rose Writing Project (CRWP) will continue to share innovative teaching methods with teachers throughout
the region thanks to ongoing funding via the Invitational Leadership Institute Grant.
“I am excited the grant was funded again,” said Director of CRWP Dr. Tamra Ogletree. “It has been rewarding for the last 10 years to see teachers who may be hesitant to teach writing become self-empowered after working together with their peers to finally discover and understand they are indeed writers and can teach writing.”
Housed by the College of Education, CRWP supports the National Writing Project’s (NWP) dream that “envisions a future where every person is an accomplished writer, engaged learner, and active participant in a digital, interconnected world.” Throughout the year, CRWP hosts a variety of workshops and programs aimed at helping educators improve the teaching of writing and learning in schools and communities.
In addition to these programs, CRWP annually hosts an Invitational Summer Institute in June where elementary, middle, and secondary teachers converge on the UWG campus to discover the latest research and educational theories, discuss hot topics in education, and share best practices. Attendees are vetted through written applications and interviews. At the core of NWP’s “teachers teaching teachers,” each institute is made possible by past teacher consultants who create a community that explores its own writing and the teaching of writing.
NWP has conducted studies that show significant writing gains among students of teachers who have participated in its programs. Dr. Ogletree has seen this personally.
“A curriculum director from a partnering school district once told me she could always discern a CRWP teacher when she walked into the class because she saw authentic writing by the students, as well as the teacher, displayed all over the room,” she recalled.
CRWP Co-Director and Instructor Mary Reid has participated in CRWP since 2008, when she was a teacher at Glanton-Hindsman Elementary in Villa Rica. She said the experience reignited her passion for teaching and writing. Since her involvement with the program, she has been published in a national teaching journal, participated in a national conference, and been published on the website of a national association.
“I returned to the classroom with new ideas and new insights into the teaching of writing,” she said. “I want other teachers who struggle with writing to have a similar enlightenment through CRWP.”