Shepherd Designated National Writing Project Site | Journal-news

SHEPHERDSTOWN—Shepherd University has been designated as the site of the National Writing Project (NWP) and will host an inaugural invitational institute June 6-15 for all kindergarten through middle school educators.

The institute will focus on engaged writing across the curriculum and combine online learning communities with half-day in-person workshops that will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The registration fee is $100 and includes materials, refreshments and up to six study credits. To learn more and to register for the institute, visit

The National Writing Project is a federally funded program that supports the teaching and learning of writing nationwide. Shepherd joins a network of 170 NWP sites, spanning all 50 states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

“Shepherd NWP will be an important literacy site for our local community,” said Dr. Christy I. Wenger, Executive Director of Shepherd NWP. “We will provide professional development opportunities for local teachers across the curriculum and at all levels so they can learn about effective writing teaching and learning practices from infancy through adulthood.”

Wenger said that as it grows, Shepherd’s NWP plans to offer teacher institutes, writing retreats, learning communities, and student-focused academic enrichment. It will provide professional development programs for local educators at all levels, from kindergarten to middle school, as well as special programs for students that will focus on academic success in all areas of literacy development.

The Shepherd NWP will leverage the resources and strengths of the region, celebrating Appalachian literacy, working closely with the Shenandoah Valley Writing Project, and striving to improve writing skills in Virginia- West and surrounding areas.

“Our mission is to listen to local educational communities to determine what is needed and to respond with programs and support that meet those needs,” she said. “Our goal is to create resilient educators who can meet the new challenges of literacy in today’s globalized, digital and interconnected world. Supporting our teachers to increase student success has never been more important than right now, as we deal with the lasting effects of COVID on learning and literacy.

Dr. LeAnn Johnson, Associate Professor of Education and Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Teaching, and Dr. Brian Santana, Professor of English, will serve as site coordinators.

The Shepherd NWP was made possible by a generous seed grant from the Shepherd University President’s Club. To learn more about the NWP, visit

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