June 1, 1999
Improving Education in Writing Locally
With the goal of improving writing in local schools, the Lowcountry Writing Project, a site of the National Writing Project, will break new ground in education in writing with its inaugural Summer Institute which will begin July 12 on The Citadel campus and continue through August 5.
The Citadel, in collaboration with various Lowcountry school districts, was one of seven new sites chosen from around the country this year to participate in the National Writing Project and was granted $20,000 to begin its program. Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester school districts have contributed more than $17,000 to the program, and The Citadel, $15,000. Seventeen area teachers, ranging from elementary school through college level, were selected to participate in the Summer Institute and will earn six hours of graduate credit after completing the program.
Tom Thompson, Associate Professor of English at The Citadel, and Jean Siewicki, language arts teacher at Drayton Hall Middle School and the 1999 Charleston County Teacher of the Year, are the program directors.
Applicants undergo a rigorous selection process to be chosen to participate in the Summer Institute and come to the program with outstanding credentials.
"The idea of the program," Tom Thompson says, "is to create a cadre of teachers who, through their expertise in teaching and using writing, can be role models and mentors for teachers who want to use writing more effectively in their own classrooms."
Tuition for participants is paid for out of federal grant money. As a special feature of this years Summer Institute, Bret Lott, author of Jewel and writer-in-residence at the College of Charleston, will be a guest speaker. In addition to the Summer Institute, the Lowcountry Writing Project will hold on-going professional development workshops and special programs throughout the year.