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Released July 13, 2005

TEACHERS MAY "START WRITE"
THROUGH SOUTHERN MISS WORKSHOP

Hattiesburg- The South Mississippi Writing Project (SMWP) at The University of Southern Mississippi will present a new workshop July 30 -Start Write-for area teachers that have community building in mind.

Kim Walker, director of the program, said each participant may attend one workshop during each of the three concurrent sessions planned. At the end of the 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. day, teachers will leave with three "ready-to-teach, high-quality writing lessons themed on community building."

"As students and teachers begin the new school year, it is important to take time to plan activities that foster a community spirit in the classroom," Walker said.

"Each of the lessons presented have the potential to allow the students and the teacher to get to know each other in a safe atmosphere as well as produce good writing."

Walker further comments that writing provides the "perfect vehicle" for this ideal. "Our presenters know the value of community building and will tell participants of the results they have achieved with their own students."

The presenters are experienced, successful classroom teachers who use writing as the central focus of their methods. The SMWP is part of the National Writing Project and is founded in the belief that the best staff development comes from "teachers teaching teachers."

Each concurrent session will highlight a lesson directed at elementary school, middle school and high school. All lessons meet benchmarks in the Mississippi State Framework for the grade levels they represent.

Future teacher workshops have been planned, including a poetry workshop in early 2006 to get students and teachers ready to celebrate National Poetry Month and an End Write Workshop in March/April 2006 to give teachers the energy boost to end the school year with more high-quality writing activities.

The fee is $50 and includes lunch. Registration begins at 8 a.m. in the lobby of the Liberal Arts Building on the Southern Miss campus. The preregistration deadline is July 26. For more information or to register, call the SMWP at (601) 266-5066.

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August 4, 2005 3:43 PM