Summary:Postcards, applications, and flyers, oh my! How do we sum up the magic that is an Invitational Institute? We can’t. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try. Flyers and other marketing materials, whether print or digital, can develop a distinct identity for a site and its programs and serve as an effective outreach tool to increase site visibility. This collection offers up tri-folds, postcards, flyers, and applications that different NWP sites have created to convey the essence of the Writing Project experience and generate interest in the opportunity to participate in a truly transformative professional development program.
Original Source: Greater Madison Writing Project, Buzzards Bay Writing Project, Hudson Valley Writing Project, Oregon Writing Project, Philadelphia Writing Project
Redesigning the Summer Institute
The first NWP Invitational Summer Institute in 1974 established a model professional development experience, the basic principles and elements of which have been sustained at local writing project sites over the decades since. But even the best program design invites constant evaluation and adaptation. Reflection is a hallmark of our work and attention to both new opportunities and the changing needs of teacher participants is a vital part of what makes NWP programs so successful. Noting three challenges that emerged over time in relation to their traditional ISI model; timing, teaching demonstrations, and sustaining TCs active engagement with the site beyond the institute, the Colorado State University Writing Project adapted their Invitational Institute's program design to be responsive to both the challenges and opportunities they faced. This reflective piece is of particular interest to site leaders facing similar circumstances who are interested in following the theory of action and process that CSUWP followed in adapting and redesigning this core program.Read more
Changing the Face of Leadership: Redesigning the Summer Institute to Invite Diversity
When one site’s self-study revealed that recruitment, programming, leadership, access and relevance did not reflect or serve the diversity of the region they served, site leaders committed to developing plans for change. In this piece, the authors describe resources, relevant readings and strategies that emerged through the process of viewing the summer institute as an intentional focus for fostering change. Lessons learned and rich resources in this piece would be useful for teacher leaders in both new and existing sites wishing to address equity and access in proactive ways.Read more
Changing Times: Adapting the Invitational Summer Institute to an Online Environment
Ken Martin, director of the Maine WP, shares lessons learned as the site transitioned from a traditional face-to-face summer Invitational Institute to a year round, online institute. This thoughtful and comprehensive study reviews the rationale for moving to an online institute documenting the successes, struggles, and modifications implemented during the first several iterations; the changes in roles and relationships as a result of the move; and the ways in which the touchstone activities and rituals of the Summer Invitational Institute translate to an online environment. In addition, helpful examples of and protocols for how to translate writing groups, writing marathons, peer response groups, and mentoring to an online environment are included in the appendices. Whether looking to simply incorporate more online components into a professional development experience or to transition to a fully online institute experience, site leaders will find this report to be an invaluable resource.Read more