Mountain Writing Project Conducts 16th Annual Summer Institute

Shown here, from left, are Jordan Fugate, Emmanuel Anama, Mary Stevens, John Couch, Michael Combs, Lisa Maggard, J.R. Thompson, Gerald Brashear, Sabrina Black, and John Brown.

Mountain Writing Project teachers and leadershipSix area teachers were invited to participate in the 16th Annual Summer Invitational Institute at Hazard Community and Technical College from June 4 through June 28. The annual summer institute helps area teachers learn how to better use writing as an instructional tool and how to help the writers improve their overall writing skills. One of the Mountain Writing Project s many slogans is, Fix the writer, not the piece.

Public school teachers for grades K-12 in all content areas are invited to apply for acceptance into the summer institute each year. Teachers who are accepted receive six graduate credits and a stipend for their work. According to Lisa Maggard, Director, the credits and stipend barely reflect the hard work, amount of time, and overall learning experience for the participants. They work really hard, Maggard says, but the pay-off for them and their students when they return to their classrooms in the fall is tremendous. Sadly, funding for the National Writing Project has been cut, and the future of Project sites across the country are in jeopardy. Kentucky sites are more fortunate than most, because they also receive funding from the Kentucky Department of Education to continue the work of the writing project.

The six teachers who participated this year were: Emmanuel Anama, formerly from Jackson County but who will be teaching for Letcher County this fall; John Brown and Mary Stevens, both from Clay County High School; John Couch and Walter (J.R.) Thompson, Jackson City Schools, Breathitt County, and Jordan Fugate, substitute teacher for Jackson City Schools.

The summer institute was planned and implemented by the following Mountain Writing Project Leadership Team members: Co-Director Sabrina Back, Morgan County Middle School; Co-Director J. Michael Combs, Hazard Community and Technical College; Technology Liaison Gerald Brashear, Dennis Wooten Elementary, and Director Lisa Maggard, Hazard Community and Technical College. The Mountain Writing Project is the collaborative effort of Eastern Kentucky University, Hazard Community and Technical College, the Kentucky Department of Education, and the National Writing Project.