WHO WE ARE
The New York City Writing Project is an organization of dedicated teachers committed to the improved teaching of literacy. We have been providing literacy PD 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 nationwide. Over our 30-year history, more than 12,000 NYC teachers have taken part in Project-sponsored seminars, workshops, graduate courses and institutes. 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 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; it is our belief that teachers are the best teachers of one another. For this reason, we work within a framework of teachers teaching teachers; all of our teacher-consultants are expert teachers who understand the realities of the classroom and work alongside classroom teachers in a realistic context.
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 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 standardized 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.