Know Any Young (Student?) Filmmakers?

This via email:

Film Your Issue Global Competition

High School and College Students Invited to Create Short Films for FYI -

USA Today, the United Nations, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and
other organizations and media leaders have joined forces to engage young
adults (14-24) in contributing to the public dialogue on pressing social
issues using the power of the Internet and user-generated content.

In its 4th year, FYI - Film Your Issue has grown into a global
Internet-based competition that invites high school and college students in
the United States and around the world to express themselves on pressing
contemporary issues by creating and uploading short two-minute films on
issues that impact them and their generation.

Beginning February 15, films can be uploaded to multiple participating
platforms, including MTV, YouTube, and American Film Institute Screen
Nation, as well as promoted on MySpace TV.

Awards and prizes include internships at USA Today, the United Nations, the
award-winning PBS Series "P.O.V.", and the Humane Society of the United
States; a $5,000 college scholarship from the Gates Foundation; having your
film broadcast on Starz; having entries distributed by the Associated Press
to its 1,800 Online Video Network media outlets; being profiled on MTV News
and presented at the NAACP annual conference; VIP Pass/film presentation at
AFI Silverdocs; the Walter Cronkite Civic Engagement Leadership Award and
Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award; and many more.

Visit the program's Web site for complete program information, filmmaking
tips, and full descriptions of the program's awards and prizes.

Alfie Kohn - "Teaching Children to Care"

On April 22 at 7 pm, Alfie Kohn will speak at Clarence Middle School on the topic "Teaching Children to Care." The cost is $15.00 pre-registered or $20.00 at the door.

The next day, April 23, Alfie Kohn and William Glasser will present on "Homework and Grading" from 8:30-2:30 at WNED, 140 Lower Terrace, Buffalo, NY 14202. The cost for this 1/2 day program is $110.00 pre-registration or $120 at the door; $500 for a group of 5.

Publication Opportunity!

Recently received via email....


Contributions from women are sought of up to 2000 words for a collection of prose and poetry tentatively titled A Closet Full of Dresses. Very short stories and postcard length stories are welcomed.

We are looking for stories about the clothes that we keep and cannot bring ourselves to part with, no matter how many times we "clean out our closet." We believe that all women have such clothes, and that all these clothes hold a story. We want the collection to speak to all women, across all ages and backgrounds, and in all stages of life; addressing both common and unique experiences. We are seeking a variety of personal stories that may be humorous, poignant, evoke fond or painful memories or represent an important life stage or turning point.

* The writing should address a particular article of clothing (not necessarily a dress) that evokes a strong memory or feeling, or has attachment to an important life event or passage.
*We are looking for unique stories, in a variety of settings, across the lifespan of women's experiences.
* The clothing may be yours, or someone's close to you.
* Include a direct or indirect description of the article of clothing.
* Inform the reader of the significance of the clothing in a context that women can relate to.
* Each piece will be one selection in a "full closet" that captures the unique and universal experiences of women.
* We welcome your submission(s) to this exciting project.

Submission Deadline: May 20th, 2008
Please include a 100 word or less CV including full contact information with your submission to: poppy17@nbnet.nb.ca

or allison calvern
259 Lynhaven Street
Fredericton , NB , E3B 2V5

Preferred method of correspondence is eMail
Submissions must be on 81/2 x 11 paper, 12 pt. double spaced
If sending by mail please send SASE for notification of acceptance. If you wish your manuscript returned, please indicate and supply a SASE.
We welcome and encourage you to forward this call for submissions to other women who may be interested.


"All of a Sudden It's the 21st Century And I'm Illiterate?"

Yesterday, while reading Will Richardson's blog (a blogger I will be profiling next after we've had enough time to dine on David Warlick), I came upon this item released by NCTE. Last Friday NCTE adopted a list of skills indentified in a definition of 21st Century literacies. Here's the list:
• Develop proficiency with the tools of technology
• Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and
• Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of
• Manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous
• Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts
• Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments
This list contains many of the same basic elements as the recommendations David Warlick posted last week. The skills listed by NCTE are exactly what we're trying to accomplish with this blog.

The list also raises some pretty big questions. How important is it that educators possess this literacy? Who's responsibility is it to help educators develop these skills? Lastly, to what extent are the educators that you know 21st century literate? What bullet points might need greater focus?

- Joel

Josh Jabcuga Published

2003 fellow Josh Jabcuga is slated to have another graphic novel published. In April IDW publishing is releasing The Mummy Movie Prequel: The Rise & Fall of Xango's Ax. He has previously published a graphic novel prequel to Scarface, which received positive press in the Buffalo News, amongst others.

Give it up for Josh! Google this guy. He writes for a lot different online publications.


Tom O'Malley in The Buffalo News

"Original" WNYWP fellow Tom O'Malley was published in the "My View" section of today's Buffalo News. Tom has been published in this section several times. His essay, "Finding Yourself by Getting Lost" weaves lessons and literary allusions into an everyday experience. Methinks he deserves a hearty, collective WNYWP pat on the back. Great job Tom.


Artvoice Publishes Fellow!

Congratulations! to Katrina Sutherland, 2005 fellow and 2008 Summer Institute Facilitator. Two of her poems are published in this week's issue of Artvoice.
In case you can't get the hardcopy of Artvoice, click here to read Katrina's poems.

Oh Snap! Time for Summer Already?

Spread the good word. It's time to start thinking about those summer months. Think of all those dynamic teachers hanging out in your faculty room. Think of all those talented students that populate our classrooms. Then, tell them to think about us. Here are the brochures to our 2008 Summer Institute and the 2008 Young Writer's Camps (click to enlarge and then print).

Summer Institute Application

Young Writer's Camp Application

The Great Myth of Being Cool

BOCES is offering a Freedom Writers inspired workshop on Friday, April 25th. Here are the flyers in case you are interested. Click to enlarge. Here's the registration form.

Eric Gansworth Art Opening, Book Signing

Friday, February 29, 2008 at 5 p.m.

BUFFALO, NY − Canisius College will host an art show opening, book reading and reception for Eric Gansworth, professor of English and Lowery Writer-in-Residence, on Friday, February 29, 2008 at 5 p.m. in front of the Peter and Mary Lou Vogt Gallery of the Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will celebrate the publication of Gansworth’stwo new books: Sovereign Bones, an anthology of New Native American writing, and A HalfLife of Cardio-Pulmonary Function, a collection of poems and paintings. Gansworth will readfrom his works, followed by an audience question and answer period, book signing and reception. The art show, featuring Gansworth’s original paintings, will run from February 29 – March 28 during regular library hours. For library hours, visit the Web site here or call (716) 888-2900.

Gansworth, an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation, was born and raised on the Tuscarora Indian Nation in Lewiston, NY. He has published seven books, including Mending Skins, which won a 2006 PEN Oakland Award. Gansworth’s books are available at Talking Leaves Bookstores and from Amazon at www.amazon.com.

The reading and art reception is co-sponsored by ArtsCanisius; the College of Arts and Sciences; Keith Burich, PhD, professor of history; The Department of English and Talking Leaves Books. For more information, contact The Canisius College Fine Arts Office at (716) 888-2536 or visit the Web site here.


Blogger Profile - David Warlick

Hey WNYWP Fellows. Last night I said that I would profile a few edubloggers over the course of the next few weeks in order to help everyone get a sense of the evolving conversations that characterize good blogs. David Warlick is a blogger I have been reading for about a year now. He focuses on literacy, Web 2.0, and a host of questions and educational issues. His blog, 2 Cents is his hub for these discussions.

He's a good place to start. When I'm home I'll post a snippet of one of his latest posts. This post is about developing 21st Century Literacy amongst educators. It's a great read and lists some salient posts. I'd link right now, but for some reason this site is blocked by BOCES censorbots (which in itself is ridiculous, as the site had to be manually added manually as it is a unique URL, which makes me question why an educational TIS person would want to block the thoughts of a prominent Ed Tech persons. There is some sort of irony there...or maybe an agenda...not sure which. Maybe both.)

Okay, now I'm home. Here's a snippet from Warlick's 3rd most recent post titled "A Pat to Becoming a Literate Educator." Interesting list.

So, I tell them to do what I’ve done — read blogs. Find some people who are talking about what you want to learn, and from them, you’ll learn of others with ideas and practices to share.

Path to Becoming a 21st Century Literate Educator — Self Development
  1. Find two or more other educators in your school who are interested in learning and using emerging information and communication technologies. It would be of enormous advantage if you can include your schools library media specialist.
  2. Identify the appropriate person in your school or district who can provide technical support and configuration for your increasingly utilized computers and network. Bake them some chocolate chip cookies.
  3. Identify some edu-bloggers who are talking about the emerging ICTs you are considering. See the Bloggers to Learn From wiki, contributed to by a world community of educators.
  4. Delegate! Assign each member of your team some of the selected blogs to follow, and share specific posts with each other.
  5. Read, study, and discuss books about teaching and learning and the world we’re doing it in. See the Books to Learn From. wiki, contributed to by a world community of educators.
  6. Schedule regular meetings (once or twice a month) at a local restaurant, coffee shop, or pizzeria (preferably with WiFi). Meet and discuss what you’ve learned and what you want to learn.
  7. Start a group del.icio.us (A social bookmarks service) account for organizing and sharing web resources.
  8. Start a wiki for posting notes, links, and step-by-step instructions.
  9. Join one or more of the Ning social networks, such as: School 2.0, Library 2.0, Classroom 2.0.
  10. Start your own blogs for sharing your reflections on what you are learning and how you are learning it.
  11. Start experimenting in your class and share the results.
  12. Share your results with other teachers in your school and Invite them into your conversation.

Start to model, in your job as a teacher, the practice of being a master learner.

* * * * * *

On a somewhat unrelated note, I tried to access my Google Docs account at the end of the school day only to find it blocked by BOCES. This site, as well as Google Calendar were blocked and categorized as "Web Productivity Apps." I am unsure what kind of reality we are living in, but when do we ever want to prevent students and teachers from being more productive? How can we teach kids to collaborate and make decisions when people in guarded towers bar the tools? It makes me want to pull my hair out. Anyways, comments?

- Joel


Students Gear Up for Young Writer's Anthology Submissions

Fingers furiously clicking away at the keys.  Pencils heard scratching, with an occasional pause for self- directed revision.  Students have voluntarily, yes, voluntarily, been engaging in after school writing sessions to prepare their final submission pieces for this year's Young Writer's Anthology. Fueled by the possibility of being published and for receiving real feedback from real writers, my students have generated so much excitement surrounding these possibilities that they can barely contain themselves.  We have seen random ideas scratched on multiple scraps of paper evolve into passionate creations of prose and poetry.  Thank you Danielle Hardt and the anthology team, and the WNYWP, for continually providing this inspiring opportunity for our young writers.  
-Keri Davis

Saturdays at 10 - Technology in the Classroom

On Saturday, March 8th we are holding our next "Saturdays at 10." This month's program will be Technology in the Classroom. We are meeting at Canisius College in Old Main 214 at 10 am.

Our fellows who are also members of City Voices City Visions will demonstrate the intersection of writing and digital video technology. Joel Malley, Jon Federick and other WNYWP fellows will be presenting video projects from their classrooms.

Free and open to the public. To register for this event call 888-3134 or email Rosemary at evansr@canisius.edu.

Books, Books, Books

With numerous snow days and winter cold keeping me indoors a bit more, I have been reading like crazy...since my last entry I finished Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill. Started out really creepy then entered into the realm of freaky supernatural tale of terror. Good stuff...i moved on from this novel to The Abstinence Teacher by Perrotta (author of Little Children). The Abstinence Teacher is a tale of love, teaching and Christian fundamentalists. Interesting read...a bit anti-climactic in comparison to Little Children. I then moved on to a pair of plays by Shakespeare...Hamlet and A Midsummer Night's Dream...two plays i have not read in my 30 years of life as a reader (oddly enough). Currently i am reading Duma Key by Stephen King and will post again upon reading this tome.

In reference to the earlier blog posts, my school also recently dealt with an issue of book censoring...


Urban Epiphany 2008

We received word from Celia White, a local poet who has presented to our Teen Writing Camps, about a poetry marathon she is helping run. Here's the info:

You are invited to read at Urban Epiphany 2008, our seventh year. This Western New York poetry marathon invites all poets! Please forward this message to others.

The reading will take place Sunday, April 27, 2008, from 3-8 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 695 Elmwood Avenue (at West Ferry). Suggested donation is $5 (covers the hall and incidental costs). We also welcome donations to help cover video and audio recording. We also welcome help at 2:30 to set up chairs, and help putting the chairs away after we finish.

As usual, our goal is to have every poet read for 2 minutes.This is approximately two pages of poetry. Please time your reading if you are unsure how long this is. I got a number of complaints last year about readers going long, but I do so hate to yellow card people, so please cooperate on this.

While we always keep a few slots each hour open for unscheduled poets, we like to schedule as much of the day as we can. Please reply with your preferred hour (between 3 and 8 pm) and we will do our best to accommodate all requests.

All publicity is welcome! Also, see the blog below for updates and reader info.


Depew, John Green, and the Power of Web 2.0

I know you've probably seen this story, but in case you haven't, a parent and a few community members addressed the school board attempting to prevent an English class from reading John Green's Looking for Alaska. The Buffalo news article can be found here and their blog inviting comments can be found here.

Perhaps the coolest part of the story is that the author himself was notified of the situation and decide to create a vlog (video blog) response regarding the situation. Here's the video:

Talk about Web 2.0 removing classroom walls. Wonder what would happen if we exhumed Mark Twain and gave him a iMac with an iSight camera and Youtube.


- Joel


Writer's Block

The Buffalo News ran an article about the challenges incoming freshmen face when faced with writing tasks. It's most likely that we all found an opportunity to read it. The article raises questions about the mixed messages kids are getting about the importance of writing vs. the writing requirements of the SAT.

One part of the story stuck out to me, and it's something I'm actually sick of hearing.

No doubt about it: Writing factors into the lives of today’s teens in much different ways than it did just a generation or two ago.

In one sense, it’s a dying art. For proof, just ask the composition teachers who face classes of newbie writers in freshman college classrooms, only to find out that they need to teach the basics of grammar and sentence structure before they can go any further.

“For some of these kids, it’s all new,” said Marne Griffin, an assistant professor in the English Department at Hilbert College in Hamburg.

What is the deal with the disconnect between upper level high school writing instruction and introductory composition teachers? Is there really a problem or is it a case of a vocal minority of pedantic instructors? In a perfect world, what abilities would an introductory composition teacher want his/her students to possess? What good resources are out there that address this issue? Why isn't this conversation organized and happening? Please use the comments section to lend your thoughts.

- Joel