Society & Culture

UGA’s Red Clay Writing Project announces 22 new summer fellows

UGA's Red Clay Writing Project announces 22 new summer fellows

Athens, Ga. – Twenty-two teachers in Athens and Northeast Georgia public schools have been granted fellowships to participate in the 7th annual Red Clay Writing Project’s Summer Institute at the University of Georgia in June.

The Summer Institute is one of several programs directed by the RCWP, a professional development program based in UGA’s College of Education that is devoted to improving literacy teaching and learning.

Fellows will meet for day-long sessions at Aderhold Hall on the UGA campus from June 8 to July 1 to share their expertise as well as the challenges they face in helping students become better writers. They will also develop their own personal and professional writing, based on the belief that teachers of writing must be writers themselves.

The Summer Institute’s 2009 Fellows are: Debbie Bagwell and Sally Fairchild, Lyman Hall Elementary (Hall County); Stephanie Baker, Fair Street IB World School (Hall County); Cindy Blair, Anita White Carson Middle School (Greene County); Charity Bracewell, Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle; Cameron Brooks, Cindy Snow and Monira Silk, Chase Street Elementary; Erin Cawthon, Clarke Central High; Kerstin Long, Whit Davis Elementary; Stephanie Smith, Fowler Drive Elementary; and Leslie Starnes, Whitehead Road Elementary (Clarke County); Russ Turpin, Banks County High (Banks County); Subrenia Thomas and Catherine Carver, Oconee County Primary (Oconee County); Melissa Conway and Lisa Simmons, East Jackson High; Natalie Gibson and Chris Pendley, West Jackson Middle (Jackson County); Kristy Shackelford, Lovin Elementary (Gwinnett County); Steven Landry, Apalachee High (Barrow County) and Dawan Coombs, UGA.

Fellows also become part of the National Writing Project, a collaborative teacher network with opportunities for teachers in urban and rural schools and teachers of English Language Learners.

Over the past several years, the program has helped cultivate new leadership in area public schools with more than 120 Summer Institute Fellows becoming teacher consultants who provide professional development for their colleagues.

A federal grant from the National Writing Project funds the Fellows’ tuition. Fellows who complete the institute receive six graduate credits or three graduate credits plus a stipend.

This year’s grant includes additional funding for the development of a Teacher Inquiry Community. This group, consisting of eight to ten teachers, will conduct an in-depth study focusing on how the members teach disenfranchised students, focusing on the impact of social justice teaching. Each member of the committee will choose one student and conduct a year-long case study.

RCWP co-directors are UGA faculty members JoBeth Allen and Bob Fecho from the College of Education’s department of language and literacy education, and Lois Alexander from Cedar Shoals High School in Clarke County.

For more information, see