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Meadow Brook Writing Project earns robust grant, expands offerings

Friday, September 17, 2010
Meadow Brook Writing Project earns robust grant, expands offerings
By Eric Reikowski, media relations assistant

For the tenth year in a row, Oakland University’s Meadow Brook Writing Project (MBWP) has been awarded funding from the National Writing Project Corporation. This year's $45,000 grant will be used to support the MBWP Summer Institute, an annual workshop for area teachers to share ideas, discuss innovative techniques and develop leadership skills.

After completing the four-week workshops, participants are certified as teacher consultants and can offer professional development services at their schools and at other schools, said Dr. Marshall Kitchens, MBWP director and chair of Oakland’s Writing and Rhetoric Department.

“We’ve had more than 100 teachers go through the Summer Institute,” Dr. Kitchens said. “As teacher consultants, these teachers can go in to schools and show other teachers how to incorporate writing across the curriculum.”

Since its founding, the MBWP has helped provide professional development for teachers in school districts throughout Metro Detroit, including Detroit Public Schools, Macomb Intermediate Schools, St. Clair Intermediate Schools and Plymouth-Canton Schools.

Recently, the MBWP was awarded a mini-grant to host a series of workshops aimed at equipping area educators with the tools and skills to integrate new media technologies into traditional classroom instruction.

The MBWP also is involved in community outreach and routinely hosts symposiums, camps and other events for people of all ages. This year, the organization is supporting the newly launched Rochester Oral History Project, which is dedicated to capturing and preserving the history of the Rochester community.

Youth writing camps also are held at Meadow Brook Hall for area K-12 students. According to Dr. Kitchens, the camps were piloted in 2009 and expanded this summer. “When the program started, we ran three camps for about 50 kids,” Dr. Kitchens said. “This summer we went full scale, hosting four camps for nearly 150 kids.”

Kitchens said camp participants learn about and take part in a variety of writing exercises, including fiction, science fiction, historical writing, nature writing, creative writing and journaling.

“Our mission is to improve the teaching and learning of writing at all levels,” Dr. Kitchens said. “We’ve secured more than $400,000 in grants since we started, and we are looking forward to continuing our efforts.”

The Meadow Brook Writing Project is a site of the National Writing Project and the Writing Project of Michigan. For more information, visit the website.