Writing is one of the building blocks of education and a tool that once honed and refined, can open doors for students long after they leave the education system — something at the core of the Great Valley Writing Project’s mission.
The Great Valley Writing Project provides professional development to schools, districts, and literacy and writing programs throughout the Calaveras, San Joaquin, Tuolumne and Stanislaus counties. The Great Valley Writing Project plays an integral role in the development of students and teachers in the area. Fortunately, the Project's mission will be more easily fulfilled in months to come as the California State University, Stanislaus chapter recently received $20,000 to fund two programs that aim to provide teaching and leadership for educators in kindergarten through 12 grade education.
“Teacher leaders are at the heart of the Great Valley Writing Project,” said Stephanie Paterson, a CSU Stanislaus English professor and co-director of GVWP. “Our focus is to support classroom teachers in their development as leaders in the teaching of writing. Developing leadership capacities has been critical to the success of the work we do.”
The Project is a host of experienced teachers, called teacher consultants, who provide professional development for local K-12 teachers who will now be able to receive training at the CSUS Stockton Center for two programs: the Invitational Summer Institute and the Professional Learning and Leadership Academy. The Summer Institute is a four-week intensive program for 16 teachers who are selected through an application and interview process where they will study writing, reading, research and leadership. The Professional Learning and Leadership Academy is geared toward teacher consultants and developing their leadership skills in regard to the changes that are in effect due to Common Core State Standards.
According to the university, these programs will continue to further CSUS President Joseph F. Sheley's mission to not only build a bridge between the community and the university but to improve writing among all students in the area.
“Writing is a skill that can benefit nearly anyone in nearly any circumstance, professionally and personally, and it is a lifelong practice," said Sheley.
The $20,000 grant, which will be funded over two years, is contingent upon continued funding from the U.S. Department of Education as it comes through the National Writing Project's SEED Teacher Leadership Development Grant program.