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National Writing Project comes to UH Hilo

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Date: Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo has received a $30,000 grant from the National Writing Project to establish the Lehua Writing Project. Local teachers will be invited to participate in summer and school year programs focused on improving student writing and learning.

Leading the local writing project effort is Jeannine Hirtle, UH Hilo associate professor of education. Co-directing is Cathy Ikeda, literacy coach at Kamehameha Middle School.

“The writing project is a highly regarded professional development program that gives teachers the techniques to create an entire classroom of students who can write well and clearly,” Hirtle said. “Writing, as we know, is essential to academic success, so we want our Big Island teachers and their students to reap the benefits of this influential program.”

The National Writing Project, a federally funded professional development program with nearly 200 sites including the new site in Hilo, provided over 7,000 programs for K-12 teachers across the country last year, reaching more than 135,000 participants.

The first Lehua Writing Project summer institute will be held from June 15-July 2, 2009.
Participating teachers will study successful classroom strategies for teaching writing, read and discuss research, and improve their knowledge of writing by writing themselves.

For more information about the National Writing Project, visit For information on the Lehua Writing Project programs, e-mail Hirtle at or Ikeda at

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