We Are…What We Do!
Do you want support and encouragement for teaching authentic writing? State testing and TDA’s wearing you down? Are you tired of unmotivated student response to writing instruction?
Capital Area Writing Project (CAWP), sponsored by Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Behavioral Sciences and Education, is the only National Writing Project (NWP) affiliate in our seven county region. With over 30 years as an NWP affiliate, CAWP benefits educators serving students at all levels in the following ways:
- We are teachers who value and share best practices for authentic writing instruction
- We gather in person and online to share ideas, to write together, to enjoy the camaraderie of others with similar interests, and to consider ways to advocate for stronger attention to good writing instruction. Act 48 hours can be earned for participation.
- We offer coursework and training, if interested, leading to designation as a National Writing Project Fellow—a credential that signifies your expertise as a teacher of writers
- We offer courses that can count as electives in our Literacy Education Master’s Degree and in our Teaching & Curriculum Master’s Degree; or, they can be stand-alone courses taken for your personal/professional growth and to meet Act 48 requirements. (Course enrollment is not required for participation in our CAWP activities)
- We offer opportunities for NWP Fellows to serve as Teacher Consultants. Some of our Teacher Consultants earn money providing professional development to area teachers.
- We connect to a nationwide network of educators! This is way beyond what our local school can provide. NWP provides perspective—what’s going on at different schools, different grades, and different disciplines. The network enables and empowers teachers.
The mission of CAWP is to establish communities of teacher writers at all levels to lead students to find their writing voice. We commit to practicing and teaching writing as well as nurturing professional growth, ultimately creating communities of student writers. CAWP instruction leads the way in the teaching of writing among school communities by strengthening and supporting literacy across the curriculum.
Rather than commercial test-preparation resources, CAWP’s efforts focus on using research-based literacy strategies to build students’ writing independence, writing voice, and reading and writing proficiency. In order for young writers to develop skills, they need many opportunities to express themselves authentically, and many opportunities to receive feedback from peers and other real audiences. It is by sharing our writing that we gain insight into how to properly use grammar, organization, and all the conventions of written English.
Did you know? Nineteen comparative studies conducted in eight states over the past decade demonstrate NWP’s positive impact on student writing achievement in elementary, middle and high schools and in urban, rural and suburban communities (NWP, 2013). A more recent study by SRI International found that professional development through the NWP “affected student outcomes on the particularly complex task of writing an argument supported by reasoning and developed through the use of evidence from source material” (Gallagher, Woodworth, & Arshan, 2015*). Nationally, with 100,000 participating educators, NWP reaches 1.4 million students in 3,000 school districts and trains 3,000 teacher-leaders through intensive programs each year.
*Gallagher, H. A., Woodworth, K. R., & Arshan, N. L. (2015). Impact of the National Writing Project’s College-Ready Writers Program on teachers and students. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.