Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

Graduate School of Education News

Karen Hamlin awarded $51,000 for Oregon Writing ProjectProfessor Karen Hamlin

Willamette Professor Karen Hamlin was awarded a $51,000 grant from the National Writing Project for programs that build learning communities, improving teachers' writing skills and their effectiveness in teaching writing.

Willamette's National Writing Project site, the Oregon Writing Project, holds the Summer Institute, provides on-site in-service programs, includes opportunities for continued study for project teachers and offers family literacy programs and young writers' camps. Each site participating in the National Writing Project is focused on meeting local needs.

"Salem-Keizer Superintendent Sandy Husk has identified literacy development as a priority" said Hamlin, a professor in the Graduate School of Education. "Engaging Willamette Academy students in our efforts has opened new areas of research for this community of teachers while helping these students to find their voices and give meaning and power to their writing."

Willamette Academy is the university's college access program for traditionally underrepresented youth. Such students frequently have life experiences that are not acknowledged within the bounds of conventional school assignments. The Oregon Writing Project provides an outlet for students to articulate how these experiences have helped them build strong identities while also teaching them how to be better writers.

The Summer Institute provides a collegial writing forum where teachers polish writing skills, explore new technology and share expertise across grade levels and subject areas. Experienced teachers meet to share successful strategies used in their own classrooms, work on their writing, learn techniques for using technology to support writing, hear from guest writers and explore current research on writing and the teaching of writing.

While this summer's institute is full, shorter summer in-service programs are still open to interested teachers. Classes include "Teaching and Writing Poetry," "Teaching and Writing Science" and "Writing Methods for the K-12 classroom."  

More information is available at the Graduate School of Education website.