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Capital District Writing Project

CDWP Home

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The Capital District Writing Project (CDWP) is a community of K-College educators working to enhance the teaching of writing in the Capital Region’s schools. Located within UAlbany’s School of Education, the CDWP brings together teachers from throughout the Capital Region to create a vibrant community of life-long learners. As a site of the National Writing Project, we envision a future where every person is an accomplished writer, engaged learner, and active participant in an interconnected, digital world.  

The CDWP offers a proven model for the professional development of teachers at all levels of education. We create opportunities for educators of all subject areas, community educators, and young people to experience writing as purposeful, joyful, and socially transformative. We provide sustained, experiential, and immersive professional learning, guided by systematic inquiry into practice, led by teachers, for teachers, in collaboration with university partners. Our model is grounded in an ethic of reciprocity in which we learn with and from each other and from the scholarship of teaching. In addition to our signature Invitational Summer Institute for teachers, we also offer young writers workshops and sponsor events in and for the community.

Numerous independent research studies show that students of teachers who participate in the National Writing Project yield significant gains in writing achievement.

 

National Writing Project
School of Education Logo
Capital District Writing Project
Department of Literacy Teaching and Learning
Catskill Building 355

1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
United States

Events

Upcoming Events


Art as Inspiration: Writing Marathon at the Tang
Sunday, April 21, 2024
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, 815 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Facilitators:
Heather Porter, Shenendehowa High School
Jordan White, Shenendehowa High School

Write your way into the 2024 spring season with the Capital District Writing Project! We will gather to kick off this event in artist Yvette Molina's installation community space "devoted to art, conversation, and contemplation" and reconvene in celebration. All are welcome! There is no charge to participate. Join us for a fun morning of writing, exploring, and discovering! A $5 donation to The Tang is recommended. CTLE available. Register >

Questions? Please email Amy Salamone, [email protected].


Reclaiming Our Time in the Writing Classroom: The Capital District Writing Project's 2024 Invitational Summer Institute
July 8-18, 2024
This summer, join a select and committed group of educators from across the Capital Region. In “Reclaiming Our Time in the Writing Classroom: The Capital District Writing Project’s 2024 Invitational Summer Institute,” you will:
● Engage in collegial, collaborative inquiries into writing pedagogies
● Participate in lesson study
● Enjoy protected writing time
● Join a writing group
● Discuss the latest research
● Join a national network that cultivates teachers as leaders
● Earn up to 60 CTLE hours

For the 2024 Invitational, we welcome educators from all content areas and across grade levels, from PreK-college. Early career and community-based educators are very welcome and encouraged to apply to this institute.

The Institute will be facilitated by Dr. Kelly Wissman of the Department of Literacy Teaching and Learning at the University at Albany; Christina Pepe of Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park; and Christina Taylor of Corinth High School. Throughout the Institute, we will be joined by CDWP teacher leaders and University guests.

Applications to the Institute will be accepted through March 20, 2024.  Learn more and register >


Young Writers Workshops
July 8-12, 2024
Half-day workshops across all grade levels and a full-day workshop for high school students

Learn more and register >


Past Events

Midwinter Retreat
Let’s Play!:  Cultivating Joy, Creativity, and Playfulness in Our Writing Pedagogies and Assessment Practices
January 13, 2024
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Alumni House, University at Albany Uptown Campus, 1400 Washington Ave, Albany, NY

The Capital District Writing Project will explore the promise and potential of taking a playful approach to writing and assessment. We invite school leaders, community educators, preservice teachers, high school students, and K-college educators of all content areas and grade levels to join us. Dr. Haeny Yoon is keynote speaker. Participants can earn 3 CTLE hours by registering through the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center’s My Learning Plan.

Cost is $45 for teachers, leaders, and faculty members. This event is FREE for high school students and UAlbany students.


Writing to and from a World in Turmoil
October 20, 2023
4:30-5:30 p.m. 
Online Gathering on Zoom

In honor of the National Day on Writing, please join us for protected writing time. Facilitation by Alicia Wein.


Troy Writing Marathon
September 30, 2023
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Troy Public Library Art Gallery Space

The Capital District Writing Project invites you to enjoy Troy on a beautiful Fall day in September.  Participants will walk, talk, and write in various public places throughout the historic city of Troy. This event will begin at the Troy Public Library. Writers will be given a map of local businesses and public areas, general instructions, and writing prompts to get them started. Participants will write for 20 to 30 minutes and then share their pieces with a small writing group. They will then move on to other locations in Troy to write and share for the remainder of the morning. There is no charge to participate. Join us for a fun morning of writing, exploring, and discovering!

Please reach out to Heather Porter with any questions: [email protected].


Freedom Dreaming Invitational Summer Institute
July 5-14, 2023
8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. 

During the Freedom Dreaming Invitational Summer Institute, K-12 teachers will experience arts-based literacy pedagogies to ignite their own creative imaginations and to bring the visual arts into their teaching. The ISI involves immersive lesson study and systematic inquiry into practice, led by teachers, for teachers, and in collaboration with university partners. Our model is grounded in an ethic of reciprocity in which we learn with and from each other and from the scholarship of teaching.

This ISI is open to all teachers, including those who have previously participated in a summer institute. Teachers can earn up to 65 CTLE hours and engage in ongoing professional learning across the year.

Questions? Email us: [email protected]


Write to Restore
May 4, 4 - 5:30 p.m. 
Synchronous Online via Zoom

The Capital District Writing Project invites you to join us for an afternoon of renewal. Slow down. Take a breath. We will spend some protected writing time together looking forward to spring and new beginnings.  All are welcome.  There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. 


Book Study: The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom by Felicia Rose Chavez
Thursdays in March, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. 
Synchronous Online via Zoom

This book study will explore what it means to cultivate voice, particularly for students of color who are often underrepresented in traditional classroom texts. The book explores topics that include:

  • Fostering Engagement, Mindfulness, and Generosity
  • Instituting Reading and Writing Rituals
  • Completing the Canon
  • Owning the Language of Craft
  • Teaching Writers to Workshop
  • Conferencing as Critique

This book study is appropriate for middle and high school teachers and teaching assistants. Individuals who teach at the college level are also very welcome to join. Participants will read and discuss the text, share experiences, and develop plans for use in professional contexts.

Participants can earn 15 CTLE hours by registering through the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center’s My Learning Plan. To register for the book study: https://www.bit.ly/cdwpstore

Questions? Email Amy Salamone, [email protected]


Midwinter Retreat
Igniting the Imagination: An Exploration of Freedom Dreaming, Writing, and Artmaking for Educational Justice
Saturday, January 14, 2023
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Alumni House, University at Albany-SUNY, 1400 Washington Avenue

Join us for a writing and art-making retreat! We invite high school students, UAlbany students, K-12 teachers, faculty, and leaders across the Capital Region to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. by reimagining a more equitable educational system. 

D. Colin will be our featured keynote speaker. Based in Troy, New York, D. Colin is a Haitian American multidisciplinary artist with an educational background in English & Africana Studies. She is a self-published author, a dynamic performer, a self-taught painter & maker. D. will share with participants how she uses writing and the arts to work toward social justice and honor King’s legacy.

Interspersed throughout the morning, K-12 student writers and artists will inspire us with their creative and analytical work. Across the retreat, participants will have multiple opportunities to write in response to prompts that invite them to dream, take action, and re-envision their practice toward educational justice.

Space is limited! Register in advance at this link: https://www.bit.ly/cdwpstore
CTLE available 


Bringing Students’ Whole Selves to Narrative Writing: Integrating Embodied Voices and Lived Experiences
Wednesday, December 7, 2022
4 - 6 p.m. 
Online

Christina Pepe and Nancy Czachor will explore how they have invited students to compose personal narratives drawn from a range of lived experiences in creative ways.

Join us to:
• experience how food memoirs and recipes can inspire the content and form of personal narrative
• explore how students can harness the power of their own (literal!) voices through audio recordings and engaging with the podcast StoryCorps

Teachers of all subject areas and grade levels are welcome! Participants can earn 2 CTLE hours by registering through the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center’s My Learning Plan. 

This event is free, but please register in advance.


Writing Marathon
Saturday, October 1, 2022 (Rain date: October 2)
1:30 - 4 p.m. 
Meet us at June Farms and compose in a beautiful setting with friends old and new. All are welcome!


Moving Beyond Boundaries: Drawing on Multiple Literacies to Create Change in Ourselves, Our Practice, and Our Schools
Saturday, September 10, 2022
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Through visual testimony and world building, we will consider what it means to move beyond the boundaries that so often seem daunting. Working with multiple literacies, we will support each other in beginning this new year with an energy and hope that is committed to changing the things we can no longer accept in ourselves, our practice, and our schools.


Reimagining the Personal Narrative as Visual Testimony
July 5-8, 2022*
8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Catskill 204, University at Albany, 1400 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12222
In this collaborative writing workshop, participants will create narratives of teaching, learning, living, and becoming during the pandemic. Educators of all subject areas, teaching or seeking to teach in schools and community contexts, are invited to participate in a 4-day experience of writing in community. Join us to document, to uncover, to create, and to bear witness.

Facilitated by teacher consultants in the Capital District Writing Project, this workshop will provide participants opportunities to engage in guided writing prompts, writing groups, and collaborative inquiry. Taking inspiration from Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin, we will write across multiple genres and create works drawing upon various media. Dedicated time and resources will be provided for considerations of how we insist on the possibilities of personal narrative in our own classroom and community education contexts.

Participants will receive a copy of Ain’t Burned All the Bright.

Space is limited. Register for Reimagining the Personal Narrative as Visual Testimony.
CTLE: 30 hours available
Facilitators: Nicole French, Christina Pepe, Kelly Wissman
Participants: K-college educators, community-based educators, graduate students
Cost: $200
*An introductory pre-workshop session will be held in June.


Hike and Write
Saturday, May 21, 2022
Rain date: Sunday, May 22, 2022    
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Art Omi
1405 County Route 22, Ghent, NY 12075

The Capital District Writing Project invites you to enjoy the outdoors of our region by joining us for a “Hike and Write.” We’ll gather together in the morning for a write into the day followed by an all-levels nature walk and art exploration at Art Omi.  Enjoy a spring walk with multiple writing spots along the way, followed by a share out at the end. Let’s use nature and art as an  inspiration for our writing, all while appreciating the beauty of our region. Suggested donation to Art Omi: $10.  Please register in advance for Hike and Write.


Entering the "Ungrading" Conversation: Collaborative Inquiry into Assessment, Standards-Based Grading, and Assets-Based Language
Saturday, March 19, 2022
9 - 11 am
Room 204, Catskill Building, University at Albany, 1400 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12222
2 CTLE hours
$25

The Capital District Writing Project invites you to join a collaborative inquiry into how we assess student writing. A roundtable of secondary ELA teachers will share how they have taken a closer look at their classroom practices through an “ungrading” lens and have begun to design assessments for learning, shift to asset-based language, and experiment with standards-based grading. Participants will write together, read a short piece from a recommended reading list, and discuss how an ungrading lens can shift writing instruction. Participants are encouraged to bring a classroom artifact (e.g., assignment, assessment, student writing sample) that you would like to inquire into and re-envision.

Please register in advance for Entering the "Ungrading" Conversation. All participants must abide by UAlbany’s COVID Guidelines. Interested in CTLE? Please visit the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center to sign up.


2021 Cohort Continuity Meeting
Thursday, March 10, 2022
6 - 7:30pm
Catskill 204, University at Albany, 1400 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12222
Members of the 2021 Invitational Summer Institute will gather together to reconnect and reflect. All participants must abide by UAlbany’s COVID Guidelines.


Creating Writing Communities for Educational Justice: Freedom Dreaming, Critical Love, and the Radical Imagination
Saturday, January 15, 2022
9 a.m. -12 p.m.
Online via Zoom
The Capital District Writing Project (CDWP) invites educators and school leaders from across the region to our annual Midwinter Retreat, “Creating Writing Communities for Educational Justice: Freedom Dreaming, Critical Love, and the Radical Imagination.” 

Join us as we engage in collaborative inquiry into the power of writing to contribute to educational justice. Participants will consider the role of writing, the arts, and the imagination in teaching for equity; hear from K-12 students, teachers, and university faculty; and find inspiration in CDWP’s powerful network of teacher writers. 

Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz will be our keynote speaker. Dr. Sealey-Ruiz is an award-winning Associate Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. A sought-after speaker on issues of race, culturally responsive pedagogy, and diversity, Dr. Sealey-Ruiz works with K-12 and higher education school communities to increase their racial literacy knowledge and move toward more equitable school experiences for their Black and Latinx students. Her most recent books include, Advancing Racial Literacies in Teacher Education: Activism for Equity in Digital Spaces and The Peace Chronicles

There is no cost to attend, but advanced registration is required.

Interested in CTLE? Please visit the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center to sign up for CTLE.

Questions? Email Dr. Kelly Wissman, [email protected].

Registration for the 2022 CDWP Midwinter Retreat is sponsored by
the School of Education Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative.


Dreaming and Writing Our Way into Possibility: Conspiring for Change
Saturday, September 18, 2021
9 - 10:30 a.m.
Via Zoom
Join the Capital District Writing Project as we write our way into a new school year.  Participants will enjoy protected writing time with prompts that will invite you to imagine a writing classroom where young people are envisioned as co-conspirators for social justice. We will also share information about a new public engagement project we're launching called "Freedom Dreaming for Educational Justice." All are welcome!
 


2021 Cohort Continuity Meeting
Thursday, October 7, 2021
6 - 7:30 p.m.
Catskill 204, University at Albany-SUNY
Members of the 2021 Invitational Summer Institute will gather together to reconnect and reflect.

UAlbany COVID Protocols: Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask inside all campus buildings. Individuals who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated must always wear a face mask outdoors while on any UAlbany campus and, whenever possible, remain physically distanced from others both indoors and outdoors. Individuals who are fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear a mask outdoors on UAlbany campuses, especially when within six feet of others. 


Writing with Urgency and Wonder: Strategies to Support Student-led Inquiry through Writing
Saturday, November 6, 2021
9 a.m. -12 p.m.
Catskill 204, University at Albany-SUNY

Join us for a Saturday Seminar entitled, "Writing with Urgency and Wonder: Strategies to Support Student-led Inquiry through Writing." Capital District Writing Project teachers will lead participants in interactive writing engagements that they have pursued with their own students.

Teachers of all subject areas and grade levels are welcome! Participants can earn 3 CTLE credits by registering through the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center's My Learning Plan.

UAlbany COVID Protocols: Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask inside all campus buildings. Individuals who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated must always wear a face mask outdoors while on any UAlbany campus and, whenever possible, remain physically distanced from others both indoors and outdoors. Individuals who are fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear a mask outdoors on UAlbany campuses, especially when within six feet of others.


Young Writers Workshops
July 12-16, 2021
The Capital District Writing Project sponsors summer writing workshops for elementary, middle, and high school writers. These workshops are designed for young people who LOVE to write and enjoy collaborating with other writers. Workshop facilitators are experienced K-12 educators from the Capital Region. Our facilitators challenge young people to grow as writers in fun and interactive ways and within a supportive community.

Each workshop will run virtually, using secure platforms. Please stay tuned for descriptions of the workshops and the instructors! Questions? Please email Nancy Czachor, Young Writers Workshops Coordinator, [email protected].


Invitational Summer Institute
July 5-16, 2021
65 CTLE
During the Invitational Summer Institute, participants immerse themselves in their own writing and in the study of effective teaching. Through synchronous and asynchronous meetings, participants study current research and theory, share strategies for teaching writing, participate in writing groups, and engage in collaborative inquiry. 

Email us at [email protected].


Midwinter Retreat
Writing as Invitation and Witness: Finding the Poetics in Students and Ourselves
Saturday, January 16, 2021
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
CTLE Available

The Capital District Writing Project invites educators and school leaders to our annual Midwinter Retreat, “Writing as Invitation and Witness: Finding the Poetics in Students and Ourselves.” This year, we will focus on teaching writing for witness, remembrance, and regeneration.  

Participants will hear from two dynamic keynote speakers. Dr. Elizabeth Dutro, Professor and Chair of Literacy Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, will explore the practice of reciprocal witnessing in response to difficult stories and the promise of seeking the poetics in students’ lives. She is the author of The Vulnerable Heart of Literacy: Centering Trauma as Powerful Pedagogy. Dr. Delicia Greene, Assistant Professor of Digital Literacies at the University at Albany, will share how Black girls create counternarratives through writing poetry, journaling, podcasting, and digital storytelling as “(w)rites of passage.”

Interspersed throughout the morning, K-12 student writers and artists will share their creative work, while Capital District Writing Project teachers will explore how they have created spaces for invitation and witness in their classrooms. Across the retreat, participants will have multiple opportunities to write in response to prompts that invite them to witness, notice, reflect, and re-envision their practice.

All are welcome!

Questions? Email Dr. Kelly Wissman, [email protected]

Upon successful registration, a Zoom link will be emailed to you as the date of the retreat draws near.

Interested in CTLE? Please visit the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center.


Young Writers Workshops
July 13-17, 2020
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Virtual using secure platforms
The Capital District Writing Project's Summer 2020 Young Writers Workshops are facilitated by  experienced educators who challenge young people to grow as writers in a supportive community. For students in Grades 1-12. To learn more about each workshop visit http://bit.ly/yww2020.


Invitational Summer Institute
July 6-17, 2020
8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
University at Albany Uptown Campus
70 CTLE
No cost
During the Invitational Summer Institute, teachers immerse themselves in their own writing and in the study of effective teaching. Gathering on the UAlbany campus, participants study current research and theory, share strategies for teaching writing, participate in writing groups, and engage in collaborative inquiry. 


Writing and Yoga as Restorative Practice II: Breathe & Write with CDWP
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
4 - 5 p.m.


Hike & Write
May 30, 2020
9 - 11 a.m.
East Greenbush Town Park

The Capital District Writing Project invites you to enjoy the outdoors of our region by joining us for our first “Hike and Write.” We’ll gather together in the morning for a write into the day followed by an all-levels nature walk through the East Greenbush Town Park hiking paths. Enjoy a spring hike with multiple writing spots along the way, followed by a share out at the end. Let’s use nature as inspiration for our writing, all while appreciating the beauty of our region. Questions? Email Heather Flood: [email protected].


2019 Cohort Continuity Meeting
March 19, 2020
4 - 6 p.m.
Shenendehowa High School East, South Library Classroom , 970 Rt 146, Clifton Park, NY 12065

Members of the 2019 Invitational Summer Institute will gather together to reconnect and reflect.


Midwinter Retreat
Amplifying Youth Voices: Writing Into Spaces of Transformation
January 18, 2020 (snow date: Saturday, January 25)
9:00am-12:00pm (registration begins at 8:30am)
Alumni House, University at Albany Uptown Campus, 1400 Washington Ave, Albany

The Capital District Writing Project invites all Capital Region educators to our annual retreat focused on amplifying student voices to inform and change the world. Participants will learn how educators can create educational contexts that: 

- engage students in writing about the most vital issues of our time
- cultivate youth as critical ethnographers of their worlds
- inspire students to write for audiences within and beyond the classroom

Dr. Marcelle Haddix will be the featured keynote speaker. She is Dean's Professor and Chair of the Reading and Language Arts Department in the Syracuse University School of Education. She is also an inaugural co-Director of the Lender Center for Social Justice and the Director of the Writing Our Lives program. Following Dr. Haddix's interactive keynote, a panel of CDWP teachers will share their experiences creating spaces to amplify youth voices. Youth writers will also conduct readings of their work. The morning will conclude with a lively conversation about the teaching of writing for social justice within and across multiple spaces.

There is no cost to attend, but space is limited.

CTLE credits will be available. Please visit the Teacher Center Frontline to learn more about CTLE.

Questions? Email Dr. Kelly Wissman ([email protected]).


Power, Perspective, and Point of View: Teaching Writing as a Form of Civic Engagement
November 2, 2019
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
UAlbany Board Room, Campus Center, University at Albany – SUNY        

Within this particular historical moment, the need for an engaged and thoughtful citizenry is paramount. The Capital District Writing Project, a vibrant community of K-college educators, believes writing is key to making that happen. In this mini-institute, K-12 educators and school leaders of all subject areas will learn how to support their students’ civic engagement through writing. Participants will experience and reflect upon teaching strategies that bring together writing, critical reading, and civic engagement. A leading expert in the scholarship of civic engagement, Dr. Brett Levy, will share key findings from his research. Across the day, participants will learn how to inspire their students to investigate, reflect on, and write about some of the most vital issues of our time; hear from teachers who have created a culture of civically-engaged writing in their classrooms; explore mentor texts and exemplar student writing; and sketch out a plan for cultivating writing as a form of civic engagement in their own settings.

The cost for this mini-institute is $75. Please register in advance. Space is limited. (CTLE hours, please also register through the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center’s Frontline)

2019 Cohort Continuity Meeting
October 10, 2019
4 - 6 p.m.
Taconic 335 (former Education Building), University at Albany – SUNY

Members of the 2019 Invitational Summer Institute will gather together to reconnect and reflect.


School of Education Day
October 4, 2019
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Campus Center, University at Albany – SUNY

The CDWP will participate in UAlbany's School of Education Day, a day of celebration of scholarship and research presented by UAlbany faculty, staff, and students. In the morning, join us for an interactive workshop, "Writing for Civic Engagement within Elementary-High School Classrooms: Introducing the Capital District Writing Project." In the afternoon, participate in "Teaching Writing within Contentious Times: A Conversation with the Capital District Writing Project." Both sessions will be co-facilitated by CDWP teacher leaders and are open to all educators and administrators in the Capital Region.

SOE Day is free and open to the public. No advanced registration required. View the program here: https://www.albany.edu/education/news/soe-day-2019.


Invitational Summer Institute
July 8-19, 2019
8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
University at Albany Uptown Campus
70 CTLE
No cost

During the Invitational Summer Institute, teachers immerse themselves in their own writing and in the study of effective teaching. Gathering on the UAlbany campus, participants study current research and theory, share strategies for teaching writing, participate in writing groups, and engage in collaborative inquiry. Interested in applying for the Invitational Summer Institute? Applications are due February 1, 2019. Questions? Email us at [email protected].


Argument in Action: Teaching Source-Based Writing Across the Content Areas
June 27-28, 2019
8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
15 CTLE
Cost: $375

In the CDWP’s Argument in Action: Teaching Source-Based Writing Across the Content Areas, teachers participate in intensive, collaborative study of the teaching of source-based argument writing, close reading for critical thinking, and student inquiry for deep engagement. Teachers engage in the work of the National Writing Project’s College, Career, and Community Writers Program, which over the course of a three-year national study was found to have a statistically significant effect on four attributes of student argument writing — content, structure, stance, and conventions. The study also found that students exhibited particular proficiency in the quality of reasoning and use of evidence in their writing. For more information, contact Carol Forman-Pemberton, [email protected].


Spring Saturday Seminar
Teaching Strategies For Composing Arguments and Narratives From Multigenre Texts
February 9, 2019
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Sand Creek Middle School

Capital District Writing Project Teacher Consultants will lead us in interactive writing engagements that demonstrate innovative and creative approaches to teaching writing. These teacher-led lessons will leave you inspired and full of ideas for cultivating the writing identities of your students. Teachers of all subject areas and grade levels are welcome! Participants can earn 3 CTLE credits.


Midwinter Retreat
Lighting up the World: Teaching Writing for Agency, Empathy, and Justice
January 19, 2019
9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (join us at 8:30am for coffee and conversation)
Alumni House, University at Albany Uptown Campus, 1400 Washington Ave, Albany NY
The Capital District Writing Project (CDWP) invites you to our annual retreat focused on the power of student writing to inform and change the world.

During the morning session (9am-12pm), open to all Capital Region educators, Rutgers University Assistant Professor Nicole Mirra will share insights from her work as a teacher and researcher pursuing participatory action research with young people. She is the author of Educating for Empathy: Literacy Learning and Civic Engagement (Teachers College Press, 2018) and Doing Youth Participatory Action Research: Transforming Inquiry with Researchers, Educators, and Students (Routledge, 2015). Following Dr. Mirra’s interactive keynote, Guilderland High School teacher Alicia Wein will facilitate a panel of young people sharing how they use writing as a tool for social change.

During the afternoon session (12pm-3pm), CDWP members will participate in envisioning and planning sessions focused on growing and sustaining site initiatives.

Questions? Email Kelly Wissman: [email protected].

Freedom Dreaming

The Freedom Dreaming for Educational Justice project begins from the premise that in order to change inequitable schooling systems, we must first imagine a better reality. With support from a UAlbany StAR grant, this public engagement project draws on the anti-racist scholarship of Bettina L. Love and concepts of freedom dreaming and the Black imaginary within the work of Robin D. G. Kelley. This project brings together K-12 educators, UAlbany students, authors, artists, faculty, K-12 students, and the broader community to create education freedom dreams to be exhibited in online and public spaces. Learn more about Freedom Dreaming for Educational Justice.

Invitational Summer Institute

Reclaiming Our Time in the Writing Classroom
2024 Invitational Summer Institute

This summer, join a select and committed group of educators from across the Capital Region. In the Capital District Writing Project’s 2024 Invitational Summer Institute, you will:
● Engage in collegial, collaborative inquiries into writing pedagogies
● Participate in lesson study
● Enjoy protected writing time
● Join a writing group
● Discuss the latest research
● Join a national network that cultivates teachers as leaders
● Earn up to 60 CTLE hours

Together, we will explore:
● How do we create humanizing writing pedagogies for ourselves and our students?
● How can writing inspire living inquiries into our complex world?
● How can we find and renew our purpose as educators?
● How do we reconnect with our own practice as writers to sustain and revitalize our teaching?

For the 2024 Invitational, we welcome educators from all content areas and across grade levels, from PreK-college. Early career and community-based educators are very welcome and encouraged to apply to this institute.

Institute Details:

The 2024 Invitational Summer Institute will take place on the University at Albany campus (1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY) on the following dates:
● Monday, July 8-Thursday, July 11 (9am-3pm)
● Monday, July 15-Thursday, July 18 (9am-3pm)
On Friday, July 12, participants will work in locations of their choice, pursuing independent reading, writing, and inquiry.

Applications are due March 20, 2024!  Learn more and apply now.

Interested in learning more? Email [email protected].

 


Here is what past participants have said about their experience in the Invitational Summer Institute: 

  • “I gained so much from the Invitational Summer Institute, including practical strategies and protocols which are going to enhance my instruction, in addition to a network of allies, fellow educators who will be there to support me when I need it. I am leaving the Institute inspired, energized, and confident.”
     
  • “I need to know more!  A fire has been lit and doors have been opened.  I am curious and inquisitive.  My next learning step is to dive deeper into the content I provide for my students so they may have meaningful educational experiences.”
     
  • “The lesson study has really opened my eyes to what a writing lesson can be. It made me consider that idea of ‘writing as praxis’ and how focusing on writing in and of itself for a lesson (not just the product you end up with) is so valuable to instill in students/teaching/lessons.”
     

Young Writers Program

The Capital District Writing Project sponsors summer writing workshops for elementary, middle, and high school writers. These workshops are designed for young people who LOVE to write and enjoy collaborating with other writers. Workshop facilitators are experienced K-12 educators from the Capital Region. Our facilitators challenge young people to grow as writers in fun and interactive ways and within a supportive community.

All summer 2024 workshops will run July 8-12, 2024. We offer half-day workshops (9am-12pm) across all grade levels (ages 6-18) and a full-day workshop (9am-4pm) for high school students!

Learn more about each summer 2024 workshop theme and how to register


Questions? Please email Nancy Czachor, Young Writers Workshops Coordinator, [email protected].

 


Here is what young people have said about our workshops:

  • “You’ve allowed me to realize everyone has their own voice in writing and I can confidently say that I may have found mine this year…As an aspiring writer, I know I still have lots to learn. I’m proud of the writer I have evolved into this year, and of the lessons I’ve learned about revision.”
     
  • “It's a great way to share your writing and meet others whose passion for the art runs as deep as your own.”
     
  • “I loved how all the students and staff were very supportive, and built strong connections with everyone.”
     



Donate Now

If you're interested in giving the gift of writing to a young person and supporting our Young Writers Workshops, insert your amount next to Capital District Writing Project, and then in the comments box please specify 'Young Writers Workshops.'

Contact Us

Kelly Wissman

Kelly Wissman
Site Director and Associate Professor
[email protected] 

Dr. Kelly Wissman is the Director of the Capital District Writing Project, a site of the National Writing Project. She is an associate professor in the Department of Literacy Teaching and Learning at the University at Albany. Across her scholarship and teaching, she considers how children’s literature, writing, and the arts can facilitate the creation of more equitable and humanizing educational spaces for all students. https://www.albany.edu/eltl/kelly_wissman.php


Amy Salamone

Amy Salamone
Co-Director
[email protected]

Amy Salamone is a retired high school English teacher, Guilderland High School. She is committed to classrooms where student voices are privileged and the work is collaborative. She participated in the 2009 CDWP summer institute.

 


Christina Pepe

Christina Pepe
Co-Director
[email protected]

Christina Pepe is an English teacher at Shenendehowa High School. Christina is an advocate for students with non-traditional educational paths and for students with exceptionalities. She is also a co-advisor of her high school's GSA.


Leah Werther

Leah Werther
Co-Director
[email protected]

Leah Werther is the K-12 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Teacher on Special Assignment at Guilderland Central School District in Guilderland, New York. She is a member of NCTE's Asian/Asian American Caucus.

 


Nancy Czachor

Nancy Czachor
Young Writers Workshops Coordinator
[email protected]

Nancy Czachor teachers English at Van Antwerp Middle School in Niskayuna. Her favorite thing about teaching writing is observing the growth and development of student voices over the year. Nancy is co-advisor of the VAMS Bookworms.