The Lehigh Valley Writing Project Summer Writing Invitational Institute is a six-credit graduate experience emphasizing balanced literacy where participants are immersed in the writing process. The Institute is a teachers-teaching-teachers’ program based on the belief that through a process of collaborative inquiry, teachers can better address the educational issues of today’s classroom. Graduates of the Institute become certified National Writing Project Fellows.

See what teachers are saying about their experience as
Writing Project Fellows:

Suzie Bichovsky-Thomas, 1999
Literacy Coach, Allentown School District

"Life changing- an opportunity for self discovery and professional growth."



Dan Ruch, 2009
5th grade teacher, Jefferson Elementary, Allentown School District
"Summer Institute is all about collecting a toolbox of best practices that you can adapt for your classroom."



Eric Frank, 2001
2nd Grade Teacher, William Penn Elementary School, Bethlehem Area School District
"A place where we, as adults, get the rare opportunity to put ourselves in our students’ shoes and be the writer in the share chair... challenging, revealing, and rewarding!"



Carol Engelman, 2009
1st Grade Teacher, Shafer Elementary School, Nazareth Area School District
"I came to Summer Institute with skills and extensive knowledge about teaching writing. When the Institute came to a close, I left more reflective with a broader perspective of best practices. My Inquiry project itself has actually transformed my teaching and classroom environment."



Lori Friebolin, 2000
5th Grade Teacher, Sheridan Elementary School, Allentown School District
“The Writing Project provided me an opportunity to grow as a writer and a teacher. The experiences and I have had with Lehigh Valley and the National Writing Project will affect me and my teaching through out my career.”



Mary Napoli,
Assistant Professor, School of Behavioral Sciences and Education, Penn State Harrisburg
“LVWP certainly provided the tools I needed to explore teacher research, to improve my own writing and the writing of my first graders, and fueled my desire to contribute to the profession.”



Sue Lucezi, 2000
Grades 4-6 Teacher, Regional Academic Standards Academy,
Bethlehem Area School District
“In our world of words, ironically my LVWP Summer Institute testimonial is all about numbers because numbers don't lie: 30 years of teaching, 2 Masters Degrees, A Countless Number of In-Services, and what rises to the top? By a landslide: LVWP Summer Institute is Número Uno!”



Maria Spinosa, 2009
"I am proud to be a member of a group that supports me as a writer and as a teacher of writing. Thank you for recognizing the importance of being able to communicate in this way and for empowering me! I hope to do the same for others!"



Carol Osborn, 2001
Special Education, Roosevelt Elementary School, Allentown School District
"The Summer Institute positively changed the way I think about my students' needs, my professional partnerships, and my own need to keep up on current best practices in my profession."



Jodi Chandler, 2004
7th Grade Teacher, Northwestern Lehigh Middle School,
Northwestern Lehigh School District
“If you didn't value the importance of developing good writers before... you will after this experience. Having the opportunity to network with other teachers and learn what it takes to become a great writer, inspires you to motivate your own students to write. You leave feeling more positive and confident than ever before. Through modeling and guidance, you begin to share your strengths and struggles as a writer with your students.”



Heather Harlen, 2004
English Teacher, Raub Middle School, Allentown School District
“Challenge. Commitment. Positivity. Possibilities.”



Jenn Knauer, 2007
Reading & Language Arts, Raub Middle School, Allentown School District
"A summer filled with colleagues, collaboration, and sharing of best practices to facilitate the writers hidden within us all!"



Vicky Lynott, 2004
Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher, Catasauqua Middle School,
Catasauqua Area School District
“Ah, the LVWP Summer Institute... a rare seed that sprouted the REBIRTH of my teaching, then branched out connecting incredible writing opportunities with fellowship... I remember it fondly.”



Brenda Shahpari, 2001
English Teacher, Catasauqua Middle School, Catasauqua Area School District
“Through the Summer Institute, I was able to tame those critical voices in my head about my writing, trust and stay true to those voices that were about expressing my own truth, and appreciate my own unique perspective and writing style, which, in turn, have all helped me when assisting my students in better expressing their ideas in their writing.”



Nora Deppen, 2007
Life Skills Teacher, Emmaus High School, East Penn School District
“The LVWP was a journey that was exhilarating and challenging with some bumps and many, many enjoyable rides.”



Ricki Stein, 1995
Language Arts Teacher, Quakertown High School,
Quakertown Community School District
“Summer Institute coached me, a former professional sportswriter, to add voice to my writing, which helped me to guide students' voice in their writing.”



Donna Bragg, 2004
Family & Consumer Science Teacher, Dieruff High School, Allentown School District
"A door opening opportunity to engage with like-minded teachers in an on going, professional development network; locally, statewide, nationally and internationally"



Mary Ann Conway, 1997
Assistant Director Of Technology, Daniel Boone Area School District
“I can hardly contain my gratitude for all I learned in the summer of 1997. I continue to use many skills adapted from the presentations, collaborations, modeled techniques and writing immersion we shared that wonderful summer. It was my first graduate class and it became the measuring tool for finding high end quality in locating the others that followed.”

Educators who are committed to renewal and growth should register. Past participants include classroom teachers K-college, subject matter specialists, curriculum coordinators, instructional support teachers, school nurses, English as a second language/bilingual education teachers, and reading specialists.

What Will You Receive?

  • Individualized attention
  • Opportunities to interact with other professionals, share strategies, and expand classroom expertise
  • Supportive environment for encouraging your writing and professional interests
  • Research base to support writing-to-learn
  • Co-directors who are currently classroom teachers with extensive K-college experience
  • Opportunity to become part of a national network and local community of educators dedicated to strengthening and supporting the teaching and learning environment

What is Your Commitment?

  • Time and attention
  • Willingness to experiment with innovative classroom practices
  • Willingness to share successful teaching strategies
  • Interest in becoming a reflective practitioner examining current classroom practices
  • Dedication to self-improvement

Course Work Includes Daily Writing Practice; Narrative Piece; Persuasive Piece; Classroom Demonstration of Writing Instruction; Reading and Writing Response Groups; and Classroom Inquiry Project (which extends through the fall) Attendance is mandatory for all sessions.

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barPenn State Lehigh Valley Writing Project | Nancy Coco, Director | 2809 Saucon Valley Road | Center Valley, PA 18034 | 610.285.5026 |

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