University of Rochester

EVENT: Warner School Hosts Writing Workshop for Teachers

September 23, 2011

Educators are invited to discover new innovative teaching strategies to help students develop as writers and enhance their own abilities as writers when the Genesee Valley Writing Project at the Warner School of Education offers a half-day workshop on Saturday, Oct. 15. The workshop is open to classroom teachers from all subjects and all grade levels, from pre-kindergarten to university level.

The goals of the workshop, themed Conformity vs. Risk-Taking: Where Does Excellent Writing Come From?, are to show educators how they can help students find pleasure and rewards in writing, support students in becoming engaged and confident writers, and explore the many issues connected to writing instruction by using their own writing as a starting point. Individual breakout sessions, however, also are designed to meet such objectives as helping students to discover their own good ideas, take risks, know the rules and when to bend them with finesse, see drafting and revising as natural essential steps toward good writing, contribute toward creating a supportive community, and take bold steps to become excellent and engaged writers.

Workshop instructors are directors of the Genesee Valley Writing Project and local public and private school teachers who have participated in the Writing Project's Annual Summer Institute and are now teacher consultants for the Writing Project. "These are strong classroom teachers who are committed to advancing writing and literacy development throughout area schools, with the ultimate goal of helping all students to become better writers and learners," said Warner School Professor Joanne Larson, a leading scholar in new literacies who directs the Genesee Valley Writing Project.

Since its inception in 2007, more than 50 participants from urban and suburban districts in Monroe County and rural districts in Ontario, Livingston, and Wayne Counties have taken part in the Summer Institute presented by the Genesee Valley Writing Project, which is hosted by the Warner School and funded by the National Writing Project. Using a teachers-teaching-teachers model, the Genesee Valley Writing Project allows participating teachers to tap into what's known about writing and the teaching of writing from all sources—key research findings, important books and articles, and most importantly, the classroom practices of effective and successful teachers.

The professional development workshop will run from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Hawkins-Carlson Room of Rush Rhees Library on the University of Rochester's River Campus. The cost of the program is $35, and teachers will receive three professional development hours upon completion.

A registration form and information for the Oct. 15 workshop are available online at Information also can be obtained by contacting Mary Beyer at (585) 275-2616 or by e-mail at For more information on the Genesee Valley Writing Project, visit

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 EdD 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.