Reading & Literacy

Private Grant Aims to Help Teach Writing Using Digital Media

By Erik W. Robelen — February 19, 2010 1 min read

We haven’t written much lately about, well, writing, so here’s an item that may be of interest.

The nonprofit National Writing Project has just announced that it’s getting an $800,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to expand a program that uses digital media (like blogs, perchance?) to teach young people to write.

On top of earlier support, this brings the foundation’s total giving up to $1.1 million for the “Digital Is” program at the National Writing Project.

The effort comes as federal funding for the National Writing Project is yet again in the crosshairs of a U.S. president. Carrying on the tradition of President Bush, the Obama administration has called for eliminating $26 million in federal funding for the National Writing Project program, part of a plan to merge money from seven existing programs into an initiative it’s calling Effective Teaching and Learning: Literacy.

Of course, the other half of the Washington tradition is that Congress—which is usually very reluctant to abolish programs—dutifully ignores the proposal to terminate funding for the National Writing Project. So don’t hold your breath

In any case, the focus of the two-year MacArthur grant will be on “developing and disseminating resources and professional-development opportunities for teachers, building processes and rubrics for assessing multimodal student work, and collaborating with other organizations working to support young people in using new digital technologies,” says a press release from the project.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.