Programs and Events
See below for more information on each event. If you have questions, please email email@example.com.
RIWP Spring Conference 2023 – “The Right to Write: Pedagogical, Personal, and Pedagogical Possibilities”
Many Highs, Many Thanks
For the first time since 2019, RIWP held its Spring Conference completely in-person on March 18. A diverse mix of experienced and soon-to-be educators assembled at Alger Hall on the RIC campus to listen to and learn from an equally diverse mix of speakers and presenters. In typical RIWP fashion, all enjoyed a PD experience that was both professionally informative and personally enriching. We want to thank all of the people that contributed to the success of Spring Conference 2023, especially keynote speaker Kurt Ostrow, all of the workshop presenters, and of course, everyone who attended. We are confident that you enjoyed the conference as much as we enjoyed providing it, and look forward to seeing you again in the future!
For the first time since 2019, RIWP held its Spring Conference completely in-person on March 18. Despite four years of COVID cancellations and virtual workshops, putting on a full, live conference again was like riding a bike. Approximately 60 teachers, teacher candidates, and assorted RIWP friends gathered for a wonderful day of professional development that followed our typical pattern: we listened, learned, collaborated, wrote, and shared. And at the end of the day, we left invigorated by the content and enriched by the camaraderie – as always.
The day began with a powerful keynote address by Kurt Ostrow entitled “Beyond Representation, Toward Resistance.” Kurt urged us to not only address issues of social justice, but also to use our voice, our writing, and even our union representation to take action on those issues, and offered examples from his own experience to demonstrate the impact we can make on education and the lives of our students.
Following the keynote, the conference offered two sets of workshops that offered a wide range of topics surrounding teaching and learning. We also found time to honor Marcia Ranglin-Vassell with our first annual “Writing in Action” Award. Marcia inspired all with her acceptance speech that showed how writing has played an integral and ongoing part in her life from her early days growing up in Jamaica to her teaching and political career in Rhode Island.
We want to thank all of the people that contributed to the success of Spring Conference 2023. First, we offer gratitude to Dean Jeannine Dingus-Eason and others in the RIC administration for their continued support of RIWP. Thanks to Kurt Ostrow for both his keynote address and his willingness to also offer a session workshop; we were thrilled to reconnect with a longtime friend of RIWP. Thanks also to all of the other workshop presenters: Lisa Narcisi Stewart, Diana Champa, Eve Kerrigan, Dr. Martha Horn, Dr. Alia Hadid, Michael Gianfrancesco, Alex Graudins, Anne Pedro, Jason Ryan, Aimee Ryan, and Steve Krasner.
We greatly appreciate the time and effort that these presenters put in to plan and deliver workshops that proved both interesting and worthwhile. Last but not least, we thank all those who attended. Whether you were a first time participant, a longtime supporter, or someone in between, we could not count the conference a success without your willingness to spend a beautiful Saturday with us in the hope of better serving your students and yourselves. We trust it was worth it, and that we will see you at other RIWP events in the near future – and next time, bring a friend!
BEING IN YOUR ELEMENT: Writing on Earth, Air, Fire, and Water
The Open Air Institute (OAI) is a three-day, place-based form of professional development open to teachers of all levels and disciplines. The OAI integrates state and local history, geography, and culture with writing and educational best practices to produce an informative and rejuvenating educational experience.
This summer’s theme is “BEING IN YOUR ELEMENT: Writing on Earth, Air, Fire, and Water” The four elements are considered the foundations of life in Western culture; writing is the foundational element of RIWP. Join us as we travel to various urban, suburban, and rural communities around RI, exploring how these five essential elements contribute to our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual lives.
August 1-3, 2023, 8 am - 3 pm
Registration deadline: July 26
Cost: Educators -- $100
Teacher candidates -- $75
18 PLUs available
Participants limited to 15
“It was great to further the excellence of the three-day OAI. Simply the most enriching experience, the kind that "revisits" my mind and heart and soul these days following.”
“The OAI this year was wonderful, as always.”
“I had a great time again this year! I looked forward to the week all summer.”
What We Offer
New Teacher Camp is a free offering designed for teachers entering their first - third years. This supportive and fun community of “campers” works together to develop strategies for successful teaching practices, efficient daily routines, self-care, and lifelines for your first few years.
July 10-14, 2023, 8 am – 2 pm at Rhode Island College
“I liked seeing two very different but passionate teachers explain their philosophies. It makes me feel comfortable to be myself as a teacher. I also feel more connected to my writing practice so that I can better teach my students to write.”
“Your advice was organized, practical, and high-quality.”
“I also felt more inspired to write creatively so I unexpectedly spent a good amount of time outside of the school workshop completing that piece.”
“I didn’t know what to expect going in, but the time seemed to fly by because I was learning so much and very engaged. Great job! It was great to meet both of you and I feel very supported as a new teacher. I’m glad we got to write for a good portion of the time as well.”
The Structure of Summer Institute
The SI is at the core of our RIWP programming. Built on the teachers-teaching-teachers model, we will renew our identities as writers, share our pedagogical expertise, and explore texts to help us push back on the inequities in education. Through practices like daily journaling, writing groups, and lesson workshopping, we build community and share ready-to-use strategies that we can take back to our classrooms. This year our theme is “the right to write.”
- Pedagogical Possibilities: What kinds of writing tasks and invitations are engaging your students, increasing their skills, and bringing joy?
- Personal Possibilities: What writing practices and experiences do you find fulfilling, either on your own or with other writers?
- Public Possibilities: How do you navigate the public gaze on teaching while maintaining integrity to do what is best for kids?
July 10-14, 2023, 8 am - 2 pm at Rhode Island College
Additional school year meetings: November 4, 2023; April 6, 2024; June 1, 2024
“As an educator and human being, I find myself more enabled to act on behalf of myself, my colleagues, and my students learning what I have during these past two weeks.”
“I was very thankful to focus on re-vision and advocacy after the stressful year I had had; I was able to look back at the advocacy from the previous year and analyze it to move forward and figure out how to better go about it in the future. It made me ready to start fresh.”
“I didn't expect to leave as changed as I did at the end of the two weeks. I'm so grateful to SI for allowing me the space and time to get used to my own voice again, and use writing as a way to heal some things I didn't know I needed to. It was an exciting and engaging way to conceptualize this next school year, and all of the activities, supplements, and strategies that we used during SI are things that excited me about using in my own classroom. It eliminated a lot of nerves about heading back into the school year, and gave me a community that truly has helped me to feel an authentic sense of belonging in Rhode Island, and alongside the brilliant teachers here. Grateful doesn't begin to cover it!”
2023 Writing Camp Registration
We are now accepting applications for the 2023 edition of Summer Writing Camp. This year’s camp will run July 10-21 from 9 am – 12 pm each day (M-F) and is open to all students (K-12) who enjoy writing. As always, students will have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of writing activities, interests and genres in a fun, friendly, and supportive environment.
For more information or questions, contact Camp Director Jeff Lawton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2022 edition of Summer Writing Camp was a rousing success. We welcomed 30 students ranging from grades 2 to 11 to the RIC campus for two weeks in early July. Students spent their time each day experimenting with writing in a variety of genres and sharing their work with peers. Whether writing personal narratives or new works of fiction, creating poetry or exploring the RIC campus in search of topics, or simply interacting with each other, students had fun with the process of writing.
“I love just everything we did and I’m also excited to perform our play!” Grade 3
“I think that this camp is amazing! It is fun and I meet so many great people that I look forward to seeing each summer!” Grade 7
“The environment feels like a safe space where everyone supports each other…I look forward to coming here all summer.” Grade 10
“I really liked how inspiring the people, setting and activities were…I think it’s important to know that I really appreciate the instructors here…what a friendly and happy and creative atmosphere they created, and it was one of my favorite things about writing camp.” Grade 11
“I am so happy that this program exists. I would rate the program a 10, as it’s a very positive and beneficial experience for the students. I’m thankful and happy that my child attended Writing Camp this summer.”
“Love that this is a non-sports camp alternative for kids who love writing. Even if they don’t attend while “loving” to write, they will come out with a better appreciation for it. Love that it offers a creative outlet for those who are expressive through thought. Also helps younger children further develop both reading and writing skills.”
Find Your W.A.Y.
Writing. Art. Yoga. You'll do all 3 (led by experts in each area!) and make a plan for what you will bring back to your classroom in the fall. For new or veteran teachers.
July 18-20, 2023, 8 am–2 pm, $100
Hacking Your High Quality Curriculum
Learn how to supplement your scripted materials with RIWP enhancements. For new or veteran teachers.
July 25-27, 2023, 8 am–2 pm, $100
Registration deadline: July 1
Dates and Registration
Write Time is a monthly opportunity to work on your own writing in (virtual) community with other educator-writers. Prompts will also be provided by the facilitator in case you want to play with something new. Write Time will take place the third Sunday of each month from 3–4:30 pm via Zoom. RSVP on this Google Form. Dates are: September 18, October 16, November 20, December 18, January 15, February 19, March 19, April 16, and May 21.