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VI Writing Project Gears up for 2010 Summer Institute

The Virgin Islands Writing Project (VIWP) seeks teachers for its eighth Summer Institute to be held on the University of the Virgin Islands St. Croix and St. Thomas campuses, June 21 to July 13. This will be the first time that the Summer Institute is being held simultaneously on both campuses. It previously alternated between campuses.

The VIWP, a partnership between the University of the Virgin Islands, the National Writing Project (NWP), and the Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDOE) gives teachers in the territory the opportunity to learn new strategies to improve their students' writing skills, study the latest research, and learn effective classroom practices. The VIWP works with teachers to improve the quality of writing among teachers, as well as among students. The trained teachers, known as teacher consultants, are prepared to conduct professional development in their schools, teaching other teachers how to teach writing. During the past seven years, approximately 105 teachers in the territory have been trained to conduct professional development. The VIWP's goal is to help all teachers, one Summer Institute at a time.

"The Virgin Islands Writing Project is of great value to the community at large, and I am proud to be a part of it. I could not have paid money at any university and received the quality of education I received throughout these past four weeks," one teacher consultant wrote in an anonymous evaluation. "I know that I am walking away from this institute a much sharper, more aware teacher than when I first arrived," the teacher consultant continued.

The VIWP's 2010 Summer Institute will be followed by an Advanced Institute from July 14 to July 16 where teacher consultants enhance their skills in various areas such as technology. The VIWP also conducts a Young Writers Camp for elementary and junior high students, which began in February and will continue until May 29 in both districts.

Dr. Valerie Combie, director of the VIWP and an associate professor of English on UVI's St. Croix campus, looks forward to this year's institutes. Dr. Trevor Parris, founding director of the VIWP, and an English professor on UVI's St. Thomas campus, will facilitate the institute on St. Thomas. Co-directors Fenella Cooper and Sharon Charles will work with Dr. Combie and Dr. Parris to lead the institutes.

The VIWP was introduced to the Virgin Islands in 2001 by Dr. Parris and Co-Director Amy Roberts, an English teacher at Eudora Kean High School on St. Thomas.

For applications to the Summer Institute, or for more information about the VIWP, please call or email any of the following individuals:

Valerie Combie 692-4126;
Sharon Charles 778-5286;
Fenella Cooper 514-6713;