The monthly newsletter of the National Writing Project
at Kent State University
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April 2017
Invitational Summer Institute (ISI):
Sign Up by April 15!
    Teachers of all content areas: You still have the opportunity to sign up for an immersive experience that can transform your teaching! Register for NWP-KSU's Invitational Summer Institute (ISI) by April 15. ISI is a reading- and writing-centered environment where teachers can share ideas for effective strategies that inspire and engage their students. In 2017, NWP-KSU is offering ISI at the following sites:
     Please share all site information with colleagues - and consider joining a local site yourself to refresh your own ISI memories!  Need more information? Save or print the FAQs for yourself and to share with colleagues who might join you. Participation costs are:
  • Workshop only - $900
  • Workshop plus 3 graduate workshop credit hours (S/U grading) - $1,350
  • Master's or Doctoral level class - Teaching Writing as a Process - $1,485 (subject to KSU Board of Regents)
   Register by April 15, 2017! Please email questions to Lori Wilfong, Visit the NWP-KSU website for more information about our programs for educators.
Advanced Institute
for the College-Ready Writers Program:
A Few Spots Remain
      Please email Kate Walley right away if you would like to be a part of NWP-KSU's Advanced Institute for the College-Ready Writers Program (CRWP). In the program, which takes place in 2017-18, you will have an opportunity to join TCs who share your passion for reading and writing. We will explore strategies to keep students engaged in the classroom while crafting well-supported, logically written arguments. The Institute will be led by TCs Tammy Anfang and Jennifer Baker.
     A few spots remain in the program, though no more stipends are available from the grant we received from the National Writing Project. The remaining spots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost to participate in this professional development opportunity is just $75.
     Details and the registration form are available on the NWP-KSU Programs for Educators section of our website. Please contact Kate Walley at
Registration Open for
Write Here! Write Now!
Theme: Literacy Connections: Strategies for Engaging Learning
Date: June 15, 2017
Place: Kent State University Student Center, Kent Campus
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Danielle Gruhler, Kent State University
"Capturing the Joy in Writing: Finding Ways to Love the Writer's Life
in an Era of High-Stakes Standards and Rigor"
   Capture the joy in writing! Reserve your place now at NWP-KSU's annual Write Here! Write Now! conference featuring keynote speaker Dr. Danielle Gruhler, associate professor in Kent State University's School of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies. Dr. Gruhler will share thoughts on inspiring students as writers, while managing today's standardized-testing environment.
    A variety of 55-minute workshops are planned for teachers of all content areas. Preliminary topics include using technology to pique students' interest in writing; starting with the conclusion to help students form their thoughts for argument writing; and using patterns to help students respond in writing.
   Cost is $65 by the early bird deadline, May 1. After May 1, the cost is $70. Graduate credit is also available for $250 for participants who attend WHWN on June 15 and a follow-up workshop on June 16. All registrations must be received by May 31.
TCs Attend Launch Meeting for the
Advanced Institute
for the College-Ready Writers Program (CRWP)
     TCs Tammy Anfang (on the right) and Jennifer Baker attended the NWP College-Ready Writers Program (CRWP) Advanced Institute Launch Meeting on March 24-25 in Washington, D.C.  This launch offered training for the CRWP Institute that they will facilitate at our Kent State site as lead learners while they explore these materials and tools in their own classrooms along with the participants.  Training included experiencing program resources, modeling of mini-units, discussion of potential teacher participants, examination of possible timeline options, exploration of assessment tools, and opportunities to plan, receive feedback and ask questions.  It was clear through this training that CRWP emphasizes a cycle of writing that includes routine, source-based argument writing, formative assessment that identifies next steps, and a return to the CRWP resources to take those next steps.
     Twelve NWP TCs have already committed to joining our CRWP Consulting Team that will begin with the three-day launch June 13-15 at Kent State University. Along with the willingness of these TCs to dedicate their time to this new NWP initiative and the support of site leadership who secured the required texts in advance, Tammy and Jenny felt more than prepared to begin their training. They are excited to work toward the main goal of “Creating a Culture of Argument and Civic Discourse” which invites students to join complex conversations by layering multiple perspectives through their reading.  As a result, students’ thinking becomes more complex, and claims emerge and evolve through the process. 
~ Submitted by Tammy Anfang and Jennifer Baker
TC Carol Roger Visits Legislators
in Support of the National Writing Project
     It was a busy time on the Hill in the third week of March as Congress was dealing with the proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act and hearings on the nominee for Supreme Court Justice. I applaud the ‘ears’ that listened to Beth Rimer from the Ohio Writing Project, her three girls, and myself as we spoke about the important work of the National Writing Project, both on the national stage and in our local sites. 
     Our first stop was Senator Brown’s coffee session, where we spoke with several legislative aides and to the Senator. From there we moved on to speak with legislative aides for Representative Davidson, Senator Portman, Representative Fudge, Representative Wenstrup, Representative Ryan and Representative Kaptur.
      We began each session with an overview of NWP and how our individual sites carry on the work.  Beth talked about the importance of the CRWP, using the research data to back up its value. It was heartening to hear Beth’s girls speak of the influence that NWP teachers have had on their education.  We concluded our visits with our wish to have the senator or representative sign the Dear Colleague letter in support of the ongoing funding for the National Writing Project.
     Looking forward, I believe that regular contact, sharing site news with legislators, needs to be part of our mission. They have faces and basic facts, and we need to continue the relationships begun on our visits to the offices of our representatives and senators.
~ Submitted by Carol Roger
The "Wandering" Book Club
Date: Wednesday, April 12
Time: 6 p.m.
Place: Erie Street Kitchen, Venice Cafe, 163 W. Erie in Kent

Small Great Things
by Jodi Picoult
        Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Mark your calendar for the May meeting!

     Wednesday, May 10, 6 p.m.
     My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
Mahoning Valley Book Club
Time: 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Place: Stonebridge Grill & Tavern (next to Handel's) on Rt. 224,
1497 Boardman-Canfield Rd.

Monday, April 24: A Man Called Ove: A Novel
by Fredrik Backman

     Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Mark your calendar:
Monday, May 15: See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng
Monday, June 12: Bring your book picks to decide!

     Send an email to if you would like help getting a book club started in your area.
NWP-KSU Professional Writing Community
    Fourteen participants signed up for the first NWP-KSU Professional Writing Community during the week-long application window.  The range of talent, experience, and professional goals is eye-opening: published authors, beginning writers, kindergarten teachers, college professors, and people from Cleveland to Cincinnati with plans for scholarly articles, screen plays, multi-genre works, and narratives (both fiction and non-fiction-ish).  Submissions have already started rolling in, and we are humbled and thrilled to be part of such a wonderful experience.
     The PWC involves the submission of one text, collaborative analysis, peer feedback, and revision with the goal of publication.  Members submit drafts after a one-month window of development with an April deadline (not to be confused with Giraffe expectations); we conduct peer review shortly thereafter, revising through May.  In the coming submission season, participants will be sharing stories of success and rejection, supporting one another in both respects.
This is a community that embodies the spirit of the Invitational Summer Institute online, and we are excited to see what will unfold over time.
~Submitted by Mike Sexton
Several TCs Have Works Published in OJELA
    The Ohio Journal of English Language Arts (OJELA) recently published two of TC Mike Sexton's submissions. The first, an essay entitled "The Writing Code," was composed at the 2016 Invitational Summer Institute. OJELA also published Mike's poem about the testing that our students face, entitled "Testing Values."
Also in OJELA is an article by Tammy Anfang, Jacqui Le-Mon and Angela (Hagan) Briggs about the 2015-16 Advanced Leadership Institute (ALI).  Entitled "'You're taking a class again?!' How the National Writing Project Keeps Teachers Coming Back for More," their article discusses the impact of ALI on all participants and describes some of the participants' leadership projects.
TC Council Meets April 8
     NWP-KSU's TC Council will meet at Kent State University on Saturday, April 8, to plan upcoming events and activities. If you have suggestions, please contact co-director Kate Walley at
Copyright © 2017 NWP-KSU, All rights reserved.

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Room 404 White Hall
Department of Teaching, Leadership, and Curriculum Studies

Kent State University
Kent, Ohio  44242

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Kent State University National Writing Project · Room 404 White Hall · Kent State University · Kent, OH 44242 · USA

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