High School Outreach: Programs and Activities
Since 2008, the Writing Project has collaborated with the University Writing Center to establish peer writing centers in middle and high schools throughout Eastern Connecticut, notably at schools where the Writing Project has active Teacher-Consultants. Each year, the directors of the two programs identify a new school that has an interested and willing teacher and a supportive administration. The Writing Center then provides undergraduate and graduate students to conduct intensive training of students identified by the participating middle or high school teachers as good candidates to become peer tutors. The undergraduate and graduate tutors who run this program are typically recruited from the pool of English Education students advised by the Writing Project director. After the first year of training, ongoing support is offered in the form of a fall conference organized and operated by the university Writing Center tutors and by the most recently trained group of middle or high school tutors. In 2010-11, the University Writing Center was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by the Council on College Composition and Communication that specifically lauded the Writing Center’s outreach program.
To date, this collaboration has established writing centers at Griswold High School, Bolton High School, East Hartford High School, EO Smith High School in Mansfield, Mansfield High School, Windham High School, Windham Middle School, Woodstock Academy, Ashford School, Manchester High School, and the CREC Public Safety Academy in Enfield.
Several other schools have established their own writing centers after having attended our annual fall conference.
Early College Experience and First Year Writing
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The Early College Experience Program offers college courses for credit in Connecticut high schools. The English Department offers UConn English, a high school version of First Year Writing, in approximately 70 high schools throughout the state. In order to maintain national accreditation, the ECE program must conduct site visits to schools for the sake of supporting its high school ECE instructors. Support is also provided in the form of professional development workshops that take place in Storrs every semester. Many ECE teachers happen to be Writing Project Teacher-Consultants.
Since 2010, the Writing Project director has assisted the ECE English program by helping to conduct site visits, assisting with the professional development workshops, recruiting ECE teachers to become Writing Project TCs (as well as recruiting TCs to become ECE teachers), and serving on an ECE English Curriculum Committee with ECE English Coordinator and former Director of First Year Writing, Tom Recchio, and five ECE teachers, two of whom are Writing Project TCs.
Since 2009-2010, site visits have been conducted at:
|RHAM High School in Hebron||Manchester High School||Windham High School|
|Bacon Academy in Colchester||Glastonbury High School||Lyman Hall High School in Wallingford|
|Montville High School||Griswold High School||Coventry High School|
|East Hartford High School||Hartford Public High School||Weaver High School|
|Notre Dame High School in West Haven||Woodstock Academy||Conard High School in West Hartford|
|East Windsor High School||Sheehan High School in Wallingford||Amistad Academy in New Haven|
|East Haven High School||Hartford Sport and Medical Sciences Academy||Hall High School in West Hartford|
|Norwich Free Academy||Morgan High School in Clinton||Cheshire High School|
|Hand High School in Madison||Windsor High School||Rockville High School in Vernon|
|Tourtolette High School in Thompson||Stafford High School||Enrico Fermi High School in Enfield|
In 2013, the Creative Writing Program’s Wallace Stevens Poetry Program celebrated its 50th anniversary. With funding from the Hartford Insurance Group, the Wallace Stevens Poetry Program honors one of the most important names in poetry every year, and invites the poet to give talks both at UConn and in one of two Hartford High Schools, typically Classical Arts Magnet School or the Community School of the Arts. There are also writing contests for Early College Experience students and for Hartford high school students. The Writing Project helps promote this program among its many Hartford Teacher-Consultants.
Undergraduates should also be aware of opportunities to intern with the Creative Writing Program, notably with the award-winning literary magazine the Long River Review, which participates in a high school book tour involving several area high schools where there are active Teacher-Consultants of the Writing Project, such as EO Smith High School in Mansfield or Rockville High School in Vernon.
Undergraduates interested in the Concentration in Teaching English are encouraged to also consider the Concentration in Creative Writing, which provides extensive opportunities to practice the kinds of writing strategies supported by research in the teaching of writing. Some courses actually cross-list for both Concentrations.
First Year Experience and Learning Communities
The Writing Project’s newest outreach endeavor involves the Office of First Year Programs and Learning Communities. With the help of a Fellowship from Teachers for a New Era, the Writing Project director was able to develop a 1-credit INTD course (now known as a UNIV course) for Pre-Teaching Secondary English majors, along with a non-residential Learning Community for those same students. This course and Learning Community have provided undergraduate students (particularly freshmen and sophomores) with invaluable exposure to the field of English teaching. Sponsored activities have included a field trip to the Mark Twain House and Museum, screenings of educational documentaries such as Waiting for Superman and The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman, workshops with Young Adult and Children’s Literature authors, and talks by students from the Neag School of Education’s Integrated Bachelor’s/Master’s Program and Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates, as well as from students who earned their English degrees at UConn but have gone on to study Education in other programs. Other aspects of these offerings include the opportunity for the students in the INTD/UNIV course to interview Teacher-Consultants of the Writing Project. Participating teachers have come from:
|RHAM High School in Hebron||EO Smith High School in Mansfield|
|Windham High School||New Canaan High School|
|Manchester High School||East Hartford High School|
|Bacon Academy in Colchester||Ashford School|
|Joel Barlow High School in Redding||Berlin High School|
|Rockville High School in Vernon||Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford|
|CREC Public Safety Academy in Enfield||Killingly Intermediate School|
Consulting and Co-Teaching Partnership
The Writing Project also offers opportunities to Teacher-Consultants for Consultation and/or Co-Teaching partnerships, in which the Writing Project director works with a teacher to develop or enhance a course or unit. In recent years, the director has worked with teachers from New Canaan High School, EO Smith High School in Mansfield, RHAM High School in Hebron, and Lyman Memorial High School in Lebanon.