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 WRITE Institute Helps Improve Literacy Across State

About 60 educators from throughout the state will take lessons back to their district about how to improve writing lessons and inspire students after participating in a leadership institute organized by the San Diego County Office of Education.

The teachers and administrators who attended the three-day Writing Reform and Innovation for Teaching Excellence (WRITE) Leadership Institute from May 27 to 29 will now use what they’ve learned to train teachers and implement systemic, research-based literacy programs in their districts.

During a panel discussion May 29, educators who helped start new literacy programs in their schools talked about the efforts and how the WRITE Institute helped.

“It has been a wonderful way to align writing instruction,” said Melinda Jones, literacy coach at Mueller Charter School in Chula Vista. “We’ve seen a lot of growth.”

Educators came from as far away as Vacaville and San Rafael to the conference, which was held at the Marina Village Conference Center. The participants will take part in three online follow-up sessions and have access to online curriculum, training resources, networking, and support.

“We bring all of the good stuff that they’re already doing around literacy to the table and help them find where it fits in,” said Julie Goldman, who helps coordinate the institute. “We do whatever it takes to support them.”

A group of teachers in the San Dieguito Union High School District started the WRITE Institute in 1989 to help older English-learner students with their writing and reading skills. It was originally known as Project Write and became part of the San Diego County Office of Education in 2002.

Since then, the program has evolved to include all grade levels as well as social studies and science teachers.

Over the years, the program also has received awards and recognition from the U.S. Department of Education, National School Boards Association, California Department of Education, California School Boards Association, and California Association for Bilingual Education.