I first learned of the Bay Area Writing Project when my daughter was in 2nd grade at Rooftop Elementary School in San Francisco. At a PTA meeting, teachers enthusiastically shared how a summer institute across the bay had completely changed the way they would be delivering writing curriculum to their students.
And I remember my daughter coming home with her writer’s notebook and talking about “sloppy copy” and “author’s chair” and, just, well, wanting to talk about her writing.
We moved the following year out of the Bay Area and up to the Sierra foothills, where I eventually fell into a teaching job at my daughter’s school – and where I learned about the Area 3 Writing Project, the Sacramento region’s counterpart to the BAWP. I had the good fortune in 1995 to attend the A3WP Summer Institute. Like the Rooftop teachers, I began the next school year with a commitment to bring out the writer in every student.
It’s easy to make commitments like the above when you know you can count on the support of the amazing Writing Project network. For example, checkout what I found this morning while browsing the National Writing Project website: Literacy, ELL, and Digital Storytelling: 21st Century Learning in Action. I’ve had the pleasure of attending Clifford Lee’s Digital Stoytelling session live during an NWP conference. But now, thanks to a collaborative effort between the BAWP, NWP, and the Pearson Foundation, Cliff’s wonderful immigration project is online. This video is but one of the many resources posted to the site, providing the scaffolding for teachers thinking about structuring an immigration project – or any kind of documentary project.
What a gift to have 24/7 access to best practices for digital storytelling from teachers like Clifford Lee and his colleague Yumi Matsui!