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Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

July 19, 2011
Cheryl Reitan | Interim director | UMD Public Relations and Marketing | 218 726-8996 |
Jean Stevenson | Associate Professor | UMD College of Education and Human Services Profession | 218 726-7451 |
Susan Perala-Dewey | Instructor | UMD Writing Studies | 218 726-6726 |

The Lake Superior Writing Project Mini-Institute 2011

Writing GroupParticipants in the Mini-Institute share their writing.
Susan Perala-Dewey and Jean StevensonSusan Perala-Dewey and Jean Stevenson
Hosted by the Department of Education at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), the second annual Lake Superior Writing Project Mini-Institute is for teachers of any subject from kindergarten to college level. The event is from Monday, July 11 through Friday, July 15 on the UMD campus and is sponsored by the Minnesota Writing Project and hosted jointly by the UMD Department of Education and the College of Liberal Arts.

During the institute teachers explore writing strategies and rediscover writing for themselves. This year their work is inspired by Writing Toward Home: Tales and Lessons to Find Your Way by Georgia Heard.

"When teachers have a passion for writing, it is communicated to the students that writing is important," said one participant. "This gathering revives our writing voices. It is helping me remember how much I love writing."

"This writing project has transformed me as a writer. In this short time I have become comfortable in my cohort and so supported that I now believe in myself as a writer," another teacher added.

"For one week we, as teachers, have the gift of immersing ourselves in writing, building a trusting community, and sharing with one another strategies that will make us better teachers when we return to our classrooms this fall," said a returning participant.

The first mini-institute was hosted at UMD in summer 2010. Participants from last year's institute visited the group and shared their continuing enthusiasm for the support the Writing Project provides.

Facilitators for the institute are Jean Stevenson, associate professor of education, and Susan Perala-Dewey, instructor in the writing studies department at UMD. Both are committed to continuing their work with the Minnesota Writing Project to support local teachers.

For more information about MWP, see

Additional Information about the National Writing Project

The National Writing Project began in 1981 at the University of California Berkley. The NWP is dedicated to facilitating high quality professional development for teachers and has grown to support more than 200 sites nationwide, and a few sites internationally. Local sites are developed in partnership with universities, school districts, and other funding sources. The NWP's success is due largely to their model: teachers teaching teachers. They believe that all teachers deserve the support of strong professional development networks, and that classroom teachers across grade levels (PreK-College) and disciplines have much to learn from one another about writing.

For more information about NWP, see

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