WHO WE ARE
The New York City Writing Project is an organization of dedicated teachers committed to the improved teaching of literacy skills in schools throughout the diverse neighborhoods of New York City. We have been providing support in language arts and literacy education to NYC public schools and teachers for more than thirty years. Established in1978 at Lehman College, CUNY as the New York City site of the National Writing Project, we are a legacy site within a network of more than 200 university-based professional development programs throughout the country. Over our 30-year history, more than 12,000 NYC teachers have taken part in Project-sponsored seminars, workshops, graduate courses and special programs. Their work in the teaching of writing has reached more than 250,000 students.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
The NYCWP believes that access to high quality educational experiences is a basic right and a cornerstone of equity. Teachers in Writing Project programs, many of whom work in the City’s most difficult schools, experiment with active, inquiry-based approaches for using reading and writing across disciplines. We believe that reading, writing, and thinking are interrelated activities that contribute to students’ success in school, college, the community and the workplace. We also believe that the key to improving teacher practice and student performance in reading and writing across the curriculum is through developing stable, long-term professional development relationships with schools. We anchor our professional development model in the belief that teachers bring knowledge, expertise, and leadership to their practice.
The NYCWP’s approaches to literacy instruction take hold. In the majority of schools where the Writing Project has been a presence for a year or more, student performance on standardized tests, including Regents exams, improves. Data from yearly surveys and program evaluations further reveal that:
- 99% of participating teachers gain concrete teaching strategies to engage students more effectively in reading and writing for a variety of purposes, and 70% use a range of these strategies at least once a week;
- 96% of participating teachers report that the NYCWP helps them prepare their students for the ELA or other Regents exams;
- 99% of participating teachers attribute a growth in their own comfort with and enthusiasm for the teaching of writing to the support received from their NYCWP teacher-consultant.
In a recent independent study, students who had three or more teachers who worked with a WP consultant showed substantial improvement in six areas of their writing (content, structure, stance, fluency diction, conventions) over peers whose teachers had little or no contact with the Writing Project.