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July 1, 2009 > New Haven Unified receives $25,000 for writing workshop

New Haven Unified receives $25,000 for writing workshop

Submitted By Rick LaPlante

Impressed with how Writing Workshop is working in the New Haven Unified School District, the East Bay Community Foundation is giving the District a $25,000 grant to support additional training for kindergarten through second-grade teachers.

Writing Workshop, a research-based approach to writing instruction and improving literacy, was introduced to the District in 2007-08, in partnership with Columbia University. Foundational to the program is the belief that helping children excel in writing - the highest competency of literacy - helps them improve in all academic areas.

Implemented in New Haven kindergarten, first- and second-grade classrooms in 2007-08, Writing Workshop was expanded to grades 3-5 in 2008-09. It will be extended to the middle schools in 2009-10, then to the high schools.

Encouraged by the East Bay Community Foundation's interest in helping to provide training for literacy education, the District applied for a grant to enable every kindergarten, first- and second-grade teacher to be trained in the advanced sections of Writing Workshop. The focus of the advanced training will be on writing personal narratives, a critical building block for literacy skills.

"Our instructional focus in New Haven is on literacy, and the starting point, obviously, is in the primary grades," Superintendent Kari McVeigh said. "We feel very fortunate that the East Bay Community Foundation shares that vision and very grateful that the Foundation is willing to help us, especially in such difficult economic times."

The East Bay Community Foundation (www.eastbaycf.org) connects community needs in Alameda and Contra Costa counties with individuals, families and organizations interested in charitable giving - and acts as a catalyst for change through leading initiatives through advocacy, and through partnerships with business, government, and private foundations. Formed in 1928, the Foundation is a leading resource on charitable giving and community needs, stewarding more than 400 charitable funds and endowments.

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