B-CU Awarded Grant to Strengthen Writing at Local School

Bethune-Cookman University’s National Writing Project site was awarded a $20,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education for 18 months of faculty development at a high-need school.  Holly Hill School, an elementary/middle school in Volusia County, was chosen as the partner school. 

Fifteen Holly Hill teachers from all grade levels and disciplines are participating in 30 hours of intensive faculty development in topics relating to the instruction of writing during the 2013-2014 school year, and are required to do continuing education in the summer, as well.

These teachers are studying current best practice literature for teaching writing at all levels and in all subject areas.  Practicing the kinds of writing assignments they will expose to their students, the teachers will work on strengthening their own writing process through peer editing groups and learn to be “writers who teach” and not just “teachers who write.” 

B-CU became the first site of the National Writing Project on the East Coast of Florida in 2011. The site’s service area includes Jacksonville to Key West, and it is one of almost 200 university-based teacher training centers across the country. 

The National Writing Project, which began at University of California, Berkley in 1973, uses a strong teachers-teaching-teachers model and brings k-12 teachers together with college and university faculty to study how writing can be used most effectively as a way to increase learning and understanding in all content areas. 

The Daytona Beach Writing Project, B-CU’s Writing Project site, held its second Invitational Summer Institute in July.  Newly graduated NWP Teacher Consultants, along with graduates from the 2011 Institute, facilitate the faculty development at Holly Hill School and draw on the experiences of the teachers at the school who share their successes and challenges in the classroom.

In additional to participating in monthly and weekend workshops to fulfill the requirements of the grant, teachers can sign up to have NWP Teacher Consultants model innovative writing lessons in their classrooms.

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Beverly James
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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers more than 40 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of more than 4,000.  For more information, visit www.cookman.edu.