To help support the growth of writing centers and their model of collaborative, consultative instruction at all levels of education (from early education, through elementary, middle, and high schools), the Center for Writing and the Minnesota Writing Project helped form the E-12 Writing Centers Collective in 2010. The goal of this Collective is to give support, inspiration, and community to those who are starting, sustaining, or just dreaming about writing centers in E-12 settings.
This informal group of about 50 Minnesota teachers, drawn from more than 20 public and private schools, communicates via a listserv and meets three times a year to share visions, ideas, and strategies. Each meeting is hosted at a local writing center, so participants can see first hand successful centers like those at Armstrong High School, Benilde - St. Margaret’s School, Burnsville High School, Edina High School, Minnetonka High School, and South View Middle School.
Emerging from the Collective have been rich opportunities for high school writing coaches and directors to interact with their college-level counterpoints at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. In March 2012, Marie Hansen brought her Burnsville High School writing coaches, students who volunteer their time tutoring other students before and after school in Marie's English Language Arts classroom, to campus to see in action an established university writing center (Student Writing Support) that employs consultants and serves writers from across the disciplines. These high school coaches shared their own writing with college-level writing consultants, an experience most of them had never had before, and participated in a lively discussion with their peers and directors about how we can best support student writers. This event was such a rousing success for all involved that Marie brought a group of new coaches to campus in October 2012. Click here to see a brief video about the October collaboration.
To join the E-12 Writing Centers Collective, please contact Kirsten Jamsen at firstname.lastname@example.org.