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Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


National Writing Project Spring Conference Teaches Education Professionals How to Bring Literacy Into the Classroom

FORT MYERS, FL - A spring literacy conference designed to help education professionals bring a better understanding of literacy into the classroom will be sponsored by the National Writing Project at Florida Gulf Coast University 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, April 5 at FGCU. On-site registration begins at 8:30 a.m. in Whitaker Hall.

“Conference participants in ‘Discovering New Worlds: Active Literacy Across the Curriculum’ will discuss how views of literacy have dramatically expanded in recent years and how the understanding of literacy has broadened to include not only visual and technological literacy but also critical literacy and its relationship to students, their lives and teaching,” associate professor, chair of the Division of Education Studies and co-director of the FGCU National Writing Project Patricia Wachholz said.

Attendees will learn how today’s students must demonstrate abilities that support effective communication, problem solving and collaboration and how equipping students with the necessary capabilities to be successful is the mission for teachers. Participants will discover literacy strategies that will equip students to explore and take charge of their world.

The conference features 12 poster displays and 31 breakout sessions spread across the elementary, middle and high school levels. Another draw is keynote speaker Jeff Wilhelm.

Wilhelm has a distinguished international reputation as a teacher and researcher. He taught for 13 years as a middle school reading teacher and a high school English teacher. He has authored eight books, most notably You Gotta Be the Book, Strategic Reading, Improving Comprehension with Think-Aloud Strategies, and Reading Don't Fix No Chevys. His most recent research involves a study of adolescent boys and what they value in school.

Wilhelm will conduct two of the breakout sessions as well, focusing on teaching reading strategies. There will be two special strands during the day that address ESE issues, and science, math and technology.

The conference will conclude with a reception and slide show featuring the National Writing Project summer institutes at 3 p.m. in the Whitaker Hall Sprint Room.

The FGCU National Writing Project, located in the College of Education, is a grant-funded partnership and cooperative effort between FGCU and the area schools of Southwest Florida. It is an affiliate of the National Writing Project, a collaborative university-school staff development program to improve the teaching and learning of writing in the nation’s classrooms.

Begun in 1973 as the Bay Area Writing Project at the University of California at Berkeley, the National Writing Project has grown into an international network of projects reaching approximately 83,000 teachers a year.

On-site regular registration is $55 and student registration is $40. Lunch is not included.

For more information, contact Wachholz at (239) 590-7808.

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