Long Beach– Sixteen
teachers from across Mississippi coastal schools elected to spend
five weeks of their summer in the classroom. Participating in the
Live Oak Writing Project (LOWP) at The University of Southern Mississippi
Gulf Coast, participants learned under the model teachers-teaching-teachers.
“The Summer Institute has been an amazing
experience for me both personally and professionally, and I can't
wait to use what I learned in both my classroom and my personal
life,” said Amy Campbell, an English teacher at Vancleave
Middle School in Vancleave.
The goal of the project is to assist teachers from
Mississippi coastal schools with their teaching of writing. They
also assist in providing professional development to their peers
throughout Mississippi’s public and private schools. It is
a five-week institute focusing on the teaching of writing for practicing
Dr. Elaine White, director of LOWP and assistant professor
of English at Southern Miss Gulf Coast said, “The work we
do in our Summer Institute focuses on two important elements for
teachers: their personal writing and their writing instruction.”
The sixteen teachers first apply for the program and
then go through an extensive interview process and are recommended
by their principals and colleagues. When the teachers finish all
requirements, they continue their affiliation with LOWP as teacher
consultants. They participate in providing staff development sessions
LOWP offers to school districts.
Around the country, over 3,000 teachers volunteered
to spend four weeks of study where university to kindergarten educators
come together to learn strategies to help students become accomplished
writers and learners. Southern Miss’ program is an affiliate
of the National Printing Project composed of sites in 50 states,
the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
As with all National Writing Project sites, staff
development is designed so that teachers are teaching teachers,
which makes LOWP programs both relevant and practical to their colleagues
in classrooms across Mississippi.
The main purpose of the program is to provide professional
development to hundreds of their educational peers in Mississippi’s
public and private schools in addition to guiding their students
to better writing skills.
For more information on the Live Oak Writing Project,
contact Dr. Elaine White at (228) 214-3288.