Call to Action: #blog4NWP

On March 2, President Obama signed a bill to keep the government running until March 18. The bill cuts about $4 billion in spending from the FY 2011 budget, eliminating a number of education programs, including the National Writing Project, Reading is Fundamental, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and Teach for America.
These cuts, which jeopardize the work of the NWP—the nation's leading effort to improve writing and learning—impact NWP’s federal funding beginning October 1, 2011.
The NWP is in jeopardy.  As you might suspect, we aren't taking this lying down.  I'm assuming, since you're here, that like me, you found your experience with the Western New York Writing Project to be transformative, invigorating, and thought provoking.  Maybe, like me, you consider it to be the most valuable professional relationship you have.

There's a growing movement among members of local members of National Writing Project sites to speak out in support of this organization that has meant so much to so many.  Chad Sansing, active teacher blogger and Twitterer and member of the Central Virginia Writing Project has organized a movement called #blog4NWP.  Excuse the long block quote, but here is his call (original can be found here):

I hope you’ll join me in blogging for the NWP this weekend, from Friday, March 18th through Sunday, March 20th, 2011. Please support the NWP by sharing your experiences with the project, its institutes, its teacher consultants, and the resources it freely provides for all teachers. If you haven’t participated in an institute or worked with the NWP, please join us in calling on the federal government to support the NWP in championing authentic professional development, teaching, and learning through programs like the writing project.
As you post, please share your links here, send the links to me via Twitter (@chadsansing, by @ or DM), or email your link to me. I will collect and publish the links here on the Coöp. If you tweet me, please include@EdPressSec@Ed_Outreach@nwpsiteleaders, and @whitehouse in your tweet.
Let’s use the hashtag #blog4NWP. If you post before or after this weekend’s window, please let me know and/or use the hashtag to make sure I pick up your article for inclusion on the #blog4NWP archive post.
Please also consider sending your writing as an email to your local and state representatives in federal government.
Be sure to tweet your posts to your followers. Also consider posting your compositions on FaceBook. Please RT calls to support the NWP and ask your followers to do the same.
If you don’t blog, but would like to write about your NWP experience in support of the program, let me know. I’d love to help you get started blogging or to facilitate guest-posting for you at the Coöp.

If you have a chance and believe strongly, as I do, that this is a program worth saving especially in this time of anti education rhetoric, please consider adding your thoughts to the conversation.  If nothing else, take a look at the growing collection of blog posts from NWP teacher consultants all over the nation who are adding their voices to the conversation.  This is an organization that celebrates writing in its very marrow.  Can there be a more worthy cause to pick up a pen?


Mind, Body, Spirit

On April 9th the WNYWP is sponsoring Mind, Body, Spirt, a celebration of poetry and the arts.  Open to the entire community, this event fuses writing poetry with the arts for a good cause. Participants will have the opportunity to choose from 3 different creative writing workshops incorporating percussion performance, photography,and artwork to help express themselves on paper.  For more information, download the brochure here.


Young Writer's Workshops

We are now beginning to accept applications for the WNYWP Young Writer's Workshops! If you know a school age child or teen who enjoys writing and is looking to improve his or her craft in a community of like minded people, share this brochure!