Welcome to the Western Massachusetts Writing Project!

WMWP is a local site of the National Writing Project, sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of English and College of Humanities and Fine Arts. WMWP provides professional development and literacy leadership programs by teachers for teachers. A growing number of educators in the region call WMWP their professional home.

Crowdfunding Creativity: WMWP’s Youth Writing Adventure Inspires Young Writers

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Every March for many years, up to 200 students from multiple schools, especially underserved urban and rural public schools, gathered on the UMass Amherst campus to participate in the Western Massachusetts Writing Project’s Youth Writing Adventure, including interactive writing workshop sessions spanning genres from short stories to poetry to screenplays to songs.

Every year, that is, until funding cuts discontinued the program for a decade. However, two years ago, generous supporters revived the Youth Writing Adventure through crowdfunding. Popular among students, this program offers creative and exploratory literacy experiences for underserved youth, who often lack similar opportunities in their regular educational programs.

The impact of WMWP’s Youth Writing Adventure lasts far beyond the day of the program. A full-day college campus experience with lunch and materials introduces a sense of confidence and belonging within campus scholarship for students who may never have imagined a place in college, and after the workshop students polish their pieces for publication and receive a paperback anthology of their writing.

In order to make the 2018 Youth Writing Adventure a possibility, WMWP has launched a MinuteFund crowdfunding  campaign with a goal of $5,000 by the end of 2017 to fund the program, including workshops, lunches, and publications. We have reached 11% of that goal on the first few days of the campaign. Can you help put us over?

Check out this short video to learn more about the program: 

 

WMWP is ...

... a professional community of teachers who value reflection and inquiry; who care about issues of race, gender, language, class, and culture; who come together to deepen our experience as writers, to share our knowledge and expertise, to transform our practice, to improve student learning, and to develop expertise and leadership. Click "Read more" to see a video about WMWP.

Chalk Talk Revisited: Elizabeth Devlin

Friday, September 1, 2017

Chalk Talk is a monthly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette that gives voice to educators. This summer we have been featuring some past columns by WMWP teachers who have written about their students, education, and themselves. We invite you to read what teachers are saying and to encourage awareness of educators in the public sphere.

This week's offering is by Elizabeth Devlin, who writes about connecting with families and inviting parents to share their hopes and dreams and dreams for their children. To read the full story, click on the quotation.

Chalk Talk Revisited: Leslie Skantz-Hodgson

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Chalk Talk is a monthly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette that gives voice to educators. This summer we're featuring some past columns by WMWP teachers who have written about their students, education, and themselves. We invite you to read what teachers are saying and to encourage awareness of educators in the public sphere.

This week's offering is by librarian and professional development coordinator Leslie Skantz-Hodgson, who writes about the importance of teaching argumentation across the disciplines. To read the full story, click on the quotation.

Chalk Talk Revisited: Anne Marie Osheyack

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Chalk Talk is a monthly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette that gives voice to educators. This summer we're featuring some past columns by WMWP teachers who have written about their students, education, and themselves. We invite you to read what teachers are saying and to encourage awareness of educators in the public sphere.

This week's offering is by ELA teacher Anne Marie Osheyack, who writes about "the art of purposeful personal teaching." To read the full story, click on the quotation.

Chalk Talk Revisited: Katie Richardson

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Chalk Talk is a monthly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette that gives voice to educators. This summer we're featuring some past columns by WMWP teachers who have written about their students, education, and themselves. We invite you to read what teachers are saying and to encourage awareness of educators in the public sphere.

This week's offering is by ELL teacher Katie Richardson, who writes that teachers must be "willing to be disturbed" to respond to changing needs in schools. To read the full story, click on the quotation.

Chalk Talk Revisited: Will Bangs

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Chalk Talk is a monthly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette that gives voice to educators. This summer we're featuring some past columns by WMWP teachers who have written about their students, education, and themselves. We invite you to read what teachers are saying and to encourage awareness of educators in the public sphere.

This week's offering is by middle school teacher Will Bangs, who writes about "staying gold" in the classroom. To read the full story, click on the quotation.

WMWP Develops Disciplinary Literacy Pathway to Leadership

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Throughout 2016 and 2017, WMWP has been involved in a national capacity-building effort called Building New Pathways to Leadership. The goal of this initiative is to develop leadership opportunities fpr teachers who may not be able to participate in the traditional Summer Leadership Institute. After making a "pitch" for  funding at the National Writing Project Annual Meeting last November, WMWP  received a  Gates Foundation-funded grant to develop an alternative pathway called Disciplinary Literacy Leadership, which will focus on the needs of content-area teachers. A central focus of the grant was to develop a civic engagement leadership institute to be offered in 2017. The institute began in the spring, included four full days in July, and will continue in the fall.

Chalk Talk Revisited: Kevin Hodgson

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Chalk Talk is a monthly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette that gives voice to educators. This summer we're featuring some past columns by WMWP teachers who have written about their students, education, and themselves. We invite you to read what teachers are saying and to encourage awareness of educators in the public sphere.

This week's offering is by sixth-grade teacher Kevin Hodgson, who writes an end-of-year letter to the young writers in his class. To read the full story, click on the quotation.

Chalk Talk Revisited: Amber O'Reilly

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Chalk Talk is a monthly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette that gives voice to educators. This summer we're featuring some past columns by WMWP teachers who have written about their students, education, and themselves. We invite you to read what teachers are saying and to encourage awareness of educators in the public sphere.

This week's offering is by science teacher Amber O'Reilly, who writes about the importance of connecting content with what is culturally, emotionally, and situationally relevant to students.  To read the full story, click on the quotation.

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