The Shenandoah Valley Writing Project (SVWP) has been awarded $20,000 from the U.S. Department of Education through a Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) Teacher Leadership Development Grant. The grant money will be utilized to expand and develop teacher leadership, in order to improve the teaching of writing and learning in schools around the Shenandoah Valley. The funding will provide new learning opportunities for a minimum of 20 teacher-leaders through August 2016.
“It is gratifying to have the support of this federal grant to improve instruction in literacy in our own neighborhood,” said Director of the SVWP Mary Tedrow, M.Ed., NBCT, who also serves as John Handley High School’s Porterfield Endowed English Chairperson. “The Writing Project has proven over the years that it knows how to develop both writing and thinking instruction and turn good teachers into great teachers.
“We have a 40-year track record in improving instruction in the nation’s schools,” she added. “This grant will touch thousands of students in the Shenandoah Valley by supporting the work of teachers and giving them the time and space to improve instruction for all of our children.”
“It is great to have the SEED grant to support teachers who are working to improve student learning in their classrooms,” said Shenandoah University’s Director of Teacher Licensure and Professor of Curriculum and Instruction Mary Bowser, Ed.D., who serves as principal investigator and site director for the SVWP. “It’s a win-win for both teachers and students.”
In December, the National Writing Project (NWP) selected Shenandoah University as the official site for the SVWP, which strives to elevate teachers to teacher-leaders and to raise the professional stature of classroom teachers.
The mission of the SVWP is to improve both writing instruction and the use of writing as a tool to enhance learning in all content areas, from kindergarten to the university setting. It also serves to support and enhance the literacy of the surrounding area through programs for both young writers and adults, in addition to its work with practicing educators.
Each summer, the SVWP holds a four-week, Invitational Summer Institute for exemplary teachers from throughout the area. Those who attend this writing institute span all content areas, and through the learning process, they become teacher consultants. They are then expected to take their training and techniques back to their home school systems to train fellow educators in the process.
The 2015 Invitational Summer Institute will be held at Shenandoah University from Monday, June 29, through Friday, July 24.