marketing and public relations
click here for the news highlights
click here for all news releases
click here for contacts
click here to read our functions
click here for the experts guide
click here for our home page
click here to subscribe to news by email
click here for the southern miss home page
click here for licensing
style guide
graphics standards
Released June 29, 2004


LONG BEACH -- Just when they had finally escaped their own classrooms, 13 teachers from across south Mississippi elected to spend their summer vacations in classrooms at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast in Long Beach.

These teachers are taking part in the Live Oak Writing Project, a special five-week institute dedicated to improving their writing skills. After their training is complete on Wednesday, these teachers will provide professional development for hundreds of their peers in Mississippi's public and private schools in addition to guiding their students to better writing skills.

"This course changes you personally as a writer, and then changes you professionally," said Suzanne Ishee, a participant in the institute and a teacher at Pass Christian Middle School. "When you find your own voice as a writer, then you can help your students find their voices."

All participants presented 90-minute lessons demonstrating their use of the writing process in the classroom. As part of the curriculum, teachers engaged in "freewriting" and "mini-writing" marathons. Another highlight of the institute was a writing marathon in New Orleans from which an anthology will be created containing various writing samples from the participants.

The Live Oak Writing Project, established in 2001, is a collaborative program of Southern Miss and south Mississippi schools dedicated to improving writing and the teaching of writing in all grades and across all disciplines. Participants in the project comprise a network of exemplary classroom teachers, kindergarten through university, who conduct professional development programs for teachers and administrators throughout the summer and school year.

"The teachers in this program are the cream of the crop," said Dr. Elaine White, director of the Live Oak Writing Project and assistant professor of English at Southern Miss Gulf Coast.

"All of these teachers have been selected through an extensive interview and application process, and they come highly recommended by their principals and colleagues. These teachers already do a lot of what good teachers need to do. This program builds on that and helps give them the tools that allow them to become even better teachers."

The Southern Miss program is an affiliate of the National Writing Project, which is composed of sites in 49 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The Live Oak Writing Project is also a part of the Mississippi State Network and an affiliate of the Mississippi Thinking/Writing Institute.

For more information on the Live Oak Writing Project, contact Dr. Elaine White at (228) 214-3288.


to the top


This page is maintained by the Department of Marketing and Public Relations at
The University of Southern Mississippi at
Comments and suggestions are welcome; direct them to
URL for this page is
July 15, 2004 5:04 PM