Why I’m Part of the #Blog4NWP Campaign

Photo-19The National Writing Project (NWP) trains teachers from all walks of life to champion authentic writing instruction in their schools and communities. Teachers who attend NWP institutes at sites across the country and complete inquiry projects in writing instruction become teacher consultants who help their students and colleagues find purpose and voice in writing across the curriculum and across media.

Why is the NWP in danger?

Congress cut the NWP because of its earmark status, without regard for its incredible, cost-efficient impact on teaching and learning. In fact, the NWP reaches more teachers and students annually than this year’s i3 federal innovation grant winners combined. Still, if the NWP is not reinstated in the federal budget as an earmark or as part of the Department of Education’s budget, the NWP will be defunded regardless of its merit and nationwide reach. If defunded, the NWP will face an immediate budget shortfall, and local projects will have to scale down their operations, curtailing the future impact of the NWP.

What is #blog4nwp?

The #blog4nwp campaign is a grassroots movement of students, parents, and educators dedicated to the restoration of federal funding for the NWP. The campaign started in mid-March as a weekend blogging marathon and has since grown into collection of over 300 blog posts and countless, tweets, letters, and calls to Congress in support of the writing project.

How strong is #blog4nwp support for the National Writing Project?

Here is a map showing the dozens of sites and cities where students, parents, and teachers are blogging their support for saving NWP. Support for the NWP is bipartisan; it comes from rural, suburban, and urban sites; it comes from students, parents, and educators; it comes from veteran and preservice teachers; it comes from the mind and the heart.

How can I help #blog4nwp?

If you’d like to help #blog4nwp restore federal funding to the National Writing Project, here’s a page to get you started blogging, and here are some other ways to help. If you have questions about #blog4nwp or about how to get started supporting the campaign, feel free to e-mail me or @ or DM me on Twitter.

Post submitted by Chad Sansing, who teaches humanities at a charter school and blogs on reforming classroom practice and democratic education at ClassRoots.org.

Laura Varlas is an ASCD project manager in publishing, and a graduate student in the secondary education: English/language arts program at George Washington University.