Platte River Writing Retreat

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by Adam Hubrig   On September 12th, an assembly of Writing Project Teacher-Consultants met on an unusually cool September afternoon to begin the Annual Fall Writing Retreat at Platte River State Park. After sharing fire-warm pizza at the Chokecherry cabins, we began a writing activity in which we wrote the recipe for the perfect autumn day, with many writers noting that maybe right here, sitting in the screened-in campground porches and surrounded by other writers, we were living it. As many of our autumn poems noted, while at the Writing Retreat we were all able to leave student e-mails, papers needing grading, and the hard work of teaching behind for a weekend and focus on being writers. As darkness settled in, we huddled around a campfire Friday evening to try and squint a glimpse of the aurora borealis, a rare sight for the area. Though unsuccessful in this endeavor, everyone...
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ConnectEd Unconference: Empowering Teachers to Share and Lead

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On July 26th, 25 teachers representing most of the Metro area schools (OPS, Millard, Westside, Bennington, Papillion-LaVista, Gretna, and UNO) gathered for ConnectEd–an Unconference sponsored by The Nebraska Writing Project, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Omaha’s Learning HQ, and hosted by Pheomblue. The day began with coffee and brainstorming discussion topics for the day. After one of our walls was covered in conversation  ideas, we put tallies next to the topics we wanted to discuss. We had four breakout rooms, so we assigned the top four scoring topics to rooms and got busy discussing the issues that mattered to us. We repeated this process three times throughout the day; conversations naturally carried over into lunch and over drinks after the Unconference. Teachers were interested in the following conversation topics: connecting the school to the community, how teachers can impact a school climate, preventing teacher burnout with effective professional...
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Summer Board Retreat 2014

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Over twenty members of the Nebraska Writing Project’s Leadership Board convened this week at the St. Benedict Center just north of Schuyler, Nebraska. The meeting of these teachers from all over the state began with reports about all the amazing things that the Nebraska Writing Project has been doing over the past year. From the annual staple Summer Institute, to the newly developed youth writing programs, over twenty projects were reported on during this phase of the meeting. Robert Brooke, Director of NeWP, then took the lead with a visionary agenda for the coming 2014-2015 school year. He pronounced that now that finances have stabilized, and we’ve weathered the crisis that came about after the federal government cut funding for the National Writing Project, it is time to think about what the Nebraska Writing Project can do as we move forward. This exciting concept allowed everyone to share their ideas...
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New Orleans Writing Marathon

Privileged to Share my Writing.
Jeff Grinvalds July 20, 2014 I had the pleasure and privilege to attend Richard Louth’s famous New Orleans Writing Marathon hosted by the Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project. I was encouraged by former NeWP Marathon Guru, Susan Martens who is now the director of the Prairie Lands Writing Project. The New Orleans marathon is open to anyone from any writing project nationwide. Together, we and 53 other writers spent five days traversing the famous French Quarter writing, sharing and discovering. I cannot put into words the gratitude I have for the host members of the SLWP who helped to make their city our city. We were also blessed to be inspired each day by Kim Stafford of the Northwest Writing Institute who gave us a framework for different ways to see the world around us and how to put those observations into words. From seeing the light filtering through the cracks to finding the...
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Platte River Writing Retreat

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September 12-14, 2014 Spend the weekend with fellow NeWP teachers at Platte River State Park, located between Lincoln and Omaha on I-80 at 14421 346th St. Louisville, NE 68037. Options for camping and participating are outlined in the attached flier. RSVP to marathon or retreat events to Diana Weis. To participate, you can join us for the entire weekend. $50 will get you two nights and two days in a beautiful, serene setting where you can relax and recharge. Sit by the campfire, make smores and share stories. Explore the Nebraska wilderness with a notebook in your hand. Enjoy the natural beauty of Platte River State Park while bonding with fellow NeWPers. If you wish, you may make your own reservations at the park here. If you can’t make it for the weekend, we would love to have you join us on Saturday, September 13th for the Writing Marathon. We will...
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Busy Summer for NeWP!

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As many teachers say goodbye to another school year, the Nebraska Writing Project kicks into gear with the annual Summer Institute that runs from the beginning of June to the end of June. Sixteen new participants and four facilitators join together in Andrews Hall at UNL to share writing, learn about teaching, and learn that “the best teachers of writing are writers themselves. The facilitators for this summer’s Institute are Dr. Robert Brooke, Diana Weis, Amy Tasich and Sarah Thomas. The institute ends on July 3rd. This is also the second year for Stacey Waite’s incredible Young Writers Camp, where 37 young writers from all over Nebraska have convened to create magic and mischief through the written word. One participant said, “Another great day today, cant believe the first week of camp is over!! Its crazy how much we have accomplished, the creativity is amazing. Jovan Mays was great, i...
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Director Brooke Thanks All for 20 Years Celebration

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  A Heartfelt Public Thank You A week ago Friday at the 2014 Spring Gathering, you all honored me for 20 years as Nebraska Writing Project Director. You surprised me with a quilt (adorned with archaic writing implements called manual typewriters), a Proclamation of support from the current National Writing Project director, and a boatload of personal testimonies about some of the small ways NeWP has touched your lives. I’ve been verklempt all week. (Not necessarily the best emotion for UNL Finals Week, but I managed!) I wanted to use our public blog to say “thank you.” The Nebraska Writing Project network has sustained me for over 20 years as a professional writer and educator. I am happy to be involved in such a great group of people, accomplishing so many fine things. At Friday’s ceremony, I told an anecdote from my younger days. Back in the mid-1970s when Kate...
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Spring Writing Marathon

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Get your traveling tunes ready to head out for the 2014 Spring Marathon at Stuhr Museum. Fellow NeWP TCs will be meeting Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 11:15PM in front of the Fonner Building.  Lunch will begin at 11:30PM (Please bring a sack lunch to join).  The launch will take place at 12:00PM and the read around will follow the marathon at 3:30PM. We are looking forward to writing with you.
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Spring Gathering

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We’ll be celebrating the Spring Gathering  MAY 2, 2014 6:00 – 8:00 pm Rm 212, Jackie Gaughan Center City Campus east of the Union We’d love to see you there to celebrate the Carol McDaniels award winner, Administrator of the Year, and honoring Robert Brooke, our gentle leader for the last twenty (20!) years. Please contact Beverly Hoistad for more information. bhoista@lps.org
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