Connecticut Writing Project at Fairfield University received regional honor

Submitted by Web Communications on June 25, 2012

The New England Reading Association has chosen three branches of the Connecticut Writing Project (CWP), including one at Fairfield University, to receive the 2012 award for outstanding contributions to literacy in the northeast corridor of the United States. The other two branches making up the “CWP3″ are at the University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University.

“We felt that the accomplishments of the CWP3 include recognition of student writers, continuous professional development for teacher consultants and outstandingteaching in the area of writing across disciplines,” stated the award letter from the New England Reading Association. “Your dedication to the model of ‘teachers teaching teachers’ from the National Writing Project has allowed over 700 teachers in the state to benefit, strengthening their writing instruction for thousands of students.”

Bryan Ripley Crandall, Ph.D., the new director of CWP-Fairfield, will receive the award in Nashua,N.H., in September with the two other directors in Connecticut. He was hired to replace Faye Gage, director of CWP-Fairfield for 25 years, and he recently received a doctoral prize for his research on the writing of African-born male youth enrolled in mainstream classrooms. “This is phenomenal news for all of us who support better writing instruction in Connecticut,” he said. “The award is a testimony of Faye Gage’s outstanding commitment to literacy and the work of her leadership team and the hundreds of teachers in Connecticut who have dedicated their lives to improved writing practices. Teachers who participate in National Writing Project programs are trained to be educational leaders in their districts.”

The Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield, an affiliate of the National Writing Project, is dedicated to improving students’ writing by strengthening the teaching and learning of writing, providing professional development programs for classroom teachers and expanding the professional roles of teachers. This summer it will sponsor an institute for K-12 teachers and offer two summer institutes for young writers in grades 6th through 12th. “We are about to kick off tremendous summer work. The announcement came at a great time,” said Crandall. “We believe in supporting 21st century literacies and advocating teachers and students as writers. At the core of best practices are those classrooms where youth are encouraged to write in multiple genres.”

The CWP-Fairfield Invitational Summer Institute has trained more than 350 teachers, kindergarten through college. In addition, CWP-Fairfieldoffers a wide audience of educators a rich assortment of programs, including nationally recognized speakers on reading, writing and learning issues, summer writing programs for youth and Writers’ Retreats for teachers.

The Connecticut Writing Project was designated a Center for Excellence by the Connecticut State Legislature in 1986 and shares with other Writing Projectsites the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s evaluation as the “best large-scale effort to improve composition instruction now in operation in this country.”

The New England Reading Association (NERA) is a non-profit organization that promotes the improvement of reading at local, state and regional levels andsupports effective reading/language arts instruction. It fosters networkingamong the six New England states and disseminates information on current ideas, research and strategies.

For more information on upcoming CWP-Fairfield programs for students and teachers, visit www.cwpfairfield.org

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