Thursday, March 30, 2017

National Writing Project Spring Meeting 2017 and a Request for ACTION Today

The cherry trees were just starting to bloom, during this year's meeting, which took place March 22-25th

Every spring, writing project teachers gather in Washington, DC for the spring meeting of the National Writing Project. We visit our senators and representatives on Capitol Hill to update them on the work we are doing at our local sites, and we ask them to support the parts of the federal budget that NWP competes for in its next round of grant-seeking. This year, we also had the launch of the second round of College-Ready Writers Program (CRWP) Advanced Institutes and the first launch of the CRWP High-Needs School Programs.

This year, Kelly Sassi was the only writing project representative from North Dakota, so she spoke on
behalf of both sites, the Red River Valley Writing Project that serves Eastern North Dakota and the Northern Plain Writing Project that serves Western North Dakota. After a Wednesday reception and Thursday morning briefing in the Senate building, Kelly began the visits, starting with Senator Hoeven's office.
Senator Hoeven expressed his support for writing and said it is important because of the connection between good writing and cogent thinking. 

Education Aide Shawn Affolter and new aide Ben Bergstrom met with me and showed interest in the mission of the RRVWP.

At Senator Heitkamp's office, Kelly Sassi met with new education aide Libby Marking. 
WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY: Call Representative Cramer's office and ask him to sign on to the bipartisan "Dear Colleague" letter being circulated by Rep. Clay (D-MO) and Rep. Harper (R-MS). This letter states support for level funding of $87 million for the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant program in the FY2018 budget. The SEED program has been helping to fund our summer institutes and work with the College-Ready Writers Program in North Dakota. The number is 202-225-2611. The deadline to sign is FRIDAY, MARCH 31st.
Alex McIntyre is Representative Cramer's aide who handles education issues. 
Senator Heitkamp's office provided me with a pass to the Senate Gallery, so I could watch the senators voting, but the real excitement that day was in the House of Representatives as they debated whether or not to vote on the new healthcare bill.