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National Writing Project Spring Conference Teaches Education Professionals How to Bring Literacy into the Classroom
2/24/2004

FORT MYERS, FL - A spring literacy conference designed to help education professionals bring a better understanding of literacy into the classroom will be sponsored by the National Writing Project at Florida Gulf Coast University 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, March 27 at FGCU. On-site registration begins at 8 a.m. in Whitaker Hall.

“Conference participants in ‘The Wonder of Learning’ will discuss how to capture the magical moment of expectation that exemplifies the wonder of learning,” associate professor, chair of the Division of Undergraduate Studies and co-director of the FGCU National Writing Project Patricia Wachholz said.

The conference features 12 poster displays and 29 breakout sessions spread across the elementary, middle and high school levels.

Keynote speaker is Christopher Lee, a noted author, director of the Georgia Assistive Technology Project and president of the Learning Disabilities Association of Georgia.

Lee’s book What About Me? Strategies for Teaching Misunderstood Learners provides specifics to help teachers and parents of misread learners. He also published his personal story Faking It: A Look Into the Mind of a Creative Learner.

Lee is a creative learner who graduated from the University of Georgia in 1990. He could not see or hear letters correctly. His processing of written language interfered with his ability to use both written and spoken English. The education system labeled him handicapped.

Fearing every encounter with the English language, Lee devised methods of faking his way through school until he arrived at the University of Georgia where faking wouldn’t work. He had to recognize and deal with his problem.

After breakout sessions, the conference will continue with a luncheon in the Student Union Ballroom with an address by Jeffrey N. Golub, the National Council of Teachers of English liaison officer for the Florida Council of Teachers of English.

The FGCU National Writing Project, located in the College of Education, is a grant-funded partnership and cooperative effort between FGCU and the area schools of Southwest Florida. It is an affiliate of the National Writing Project, a collaborative university-school staff development program to improve the teaching and learning of writing in the nation’s classrooms.

Begun in 1973 as the Bay Area Writing Project at the University of California at Berkeley, the National Writing Project has grown into an international network of projects reaching approximately 83,000 teachers a year.

Early registration through March 17 is $50. FGCU students may register for $25.

For more information, contact Wachholz at (239) 590-7808 or visit the NWP at FGCU website at .

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