University of Rochester

Genesee Valley Writing Project Seeks Participants for 2008 Summer Institute

February 8, 2008

Deadline to Apply is March 14

The Genesee Valley Writing Project invites local educators from all disciplines and at all levels of instruction, from pre-kindergarten to university, to apply for the 2008 Genesee Valley Writing Project Summer Institute to be held at the University of Rochester from July 7 to August 1. Applications for the 2008 Summer Institute must be submitted by March 14.

The four-week Invitational Summer Institute, the heart of the Genesee Valley Writing Project, will accept up to 16 Fellows. Applicants must be practicing teachers from urban, suburban, and rural regions of Monroe and surrounding counties who embrace writing and literacy as central components of learning in the classroom and who are looking for innovative ways to integrate literacy practices into learning. All participating teachers will receive a $500 stipend and three graduate credits through the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester.

The Summer Institute, which uses a teachers-teaching-teachers approach to help pre-kindergarten through college-level teachers advance and support writing and literacy development throughout area schools, will feature collaborative writing groups, teacher demonstration workshops, reading research groups, and presentations that draw from local and national expertise. Participating teachers will have the opportunity to study classroom strategies for teaching writing, read and discuss research, and improve their knowledge by writing themselves.

Sponsored by and housed within the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education, the Genesee Valley Writing Project is one of the newest sites to join the National Writing Project, a nationwide network of nearly 200 project sites reaching more than 137,000 educators last year, working together to improve writing and learning in America's schools. In its second year, the 2008 Summer Institute will be directed and facilitated by Meg Callahan, assistant professor at the Warner School.

Callahan believes that the newly established Genesee Valley Writing Project site arrived not a moment too soon. "Teachers who participated in last year's Summer Institute made it clear that they were hungry for professional development opportunities that would enable them to focus their energies toward improving teaching and learning in their classrooms," explained Callahan. "The fundamental philosophy behind the writing project is that effective teachers boost their teaching skills by writing themselves. The Summer Institute offers teachers professional development opportunities to expand their knowledge of exemplary practices and research skills while focusing on improving their own writing skills."

Summer Institute sessions will be held Monday through Thursday (including Friday, August 1) from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the University of Rochester's River Campus. In addition to the Summer Institute, the Genesee Valley Writing Project will host follow-up programs and activities — community outreach programs, school-based inservice workshops, collaborative programs, and teacher study groups—throughout the remainder of the year.

Upon completion of the Summer Institute, teachers become members of the Genesee Valley Writing Project and the National Writing Project and are eligible to participate in ongoing professional development related to teaching and writing.

To receive an application or for more information about the Genesee Valley Writing Project Summer Institute, visit, or contact Meg Callahan at (585) 273-5090 or by e-mail at

About the Warner School of Education
Founded in 1958, the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education offers master's and doctoral degree programs in teaching and curriculum, school leadership, higher education, counseling, human development, and educational policy. The Warner School of Education offers a new accelerated option for its Ed.D. programs that allows eligible students to earn a doctorate in education in as few as three years part time while holding a professional job in the same field. The Warner School of Education is recognized both regionally and nationally for its tradition of preparing practitioners and researchers to become leaders and agents of change in schools, universities, and community agencies; generating and disseminating research; and actively participating in education reform.