Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The National Day on Writing: A Community Effort

When I met with my principal this fall to discuss how our school might participate in the National Day on Writing, we knew right away that we wanted to convey a belief in the value of writing to communicate about things that are important to us. We decided to create a local gallery within the National Gallery that would celebrate our school community and invite participation from as broad a spectrum as possible—students, alumni, families, teachers and staff, and retirees.

We announced our gallery to teachers at a monthly staff meeting, which began with everyone making a list of all the writing they had done over the course of the day. This activity, designed to make us all aware of the Day’s goal of illustrating “how integral writing has become to daily life in the 21st century,” triggered a number of lively conversations. Most interesting, perhaps, was the teacher who noted that though we all may write more than we might have a generation ago—is the writing any better?

Shortly thereafter, our school librarian shared information about our gallery with our Parent Teacher Student Association, and our alumni association contacts got the word out to as many graduates as possible. As it happened, one of the weeks leading up to the Day on Writing was Homecoming Week, when school spirit is high and people are already paying attention to information coming from the school. I was both pleased and amused to have the chance to write announcement copy that suggested that contributing a piece of original writing could be an expression of school spirit!

Now, a week out from the National Day on Writing, we are excited about the prospect of our small but growing gallery “going live” with all of the other local and partner galleries on October 20. We’ll use the momentum from that day to continue to invite members of our school community to contribute throughout the year.

Share the story behind your gallery by posting a comment here. Be sure to include a link so we can all check back next week to see the writing that members of your writing community decided to share with the world. If you are not currently affiliated with a local gallery, take a moment to browse the existing galleries. Chances are, you will find a place to share your writing as part of this national event.

4 comments:

Lisa Fink said...

ReadWriteThink.org has a gallery for site users to post artifacts from ReadWriteThink lessons. We would love to see the work of students as a result of the lesson plans on RWT. Several teachers who are also authors on the site mentioned that they will be uploading their favorite lessons to the gallery. You can submit to the gallery at http://www.galleryofwriting.org/galleries/87362.

Nan said...

I became aware of a gallery in our community after the local paper wrote an article about it. It is called C-U Writes (http://www.galleryofwriting.org/galleries/204036) and they are asking for pieces of writing related to our community. They are also holding a local celebration.

James Kimber said...

Excellent post, fantastic job i like it.

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