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Field Notes: Writing for Hope and Change

It’s an incredible feeling to witness tens of thousands of people all talking simultaneously about something you consider deeply important. Even better when that “something” is as universal as the power of writing and as pointed as how writing equals hope and change.

The 2018 National Day on Writing® was a joyful celebration that, as usual, transcended classrooms and campuses and inspired people from all walks of life to pause and reflect on the important role words play in their lives. What was most heartening, though, was to see what our members did to celebrate and elevate writing with their students, their writing centers, their affiliate groups, and their communities. The celebration doesn’t have to end here, at the tenth anniversary of the day. We hope you continue to share your writing adventures with #WhyIWrite all year long.

 

 

Amplification through Affiliates

This year a growing number of NCTE affiliates participated. It was wonderful to see the many ways in which affiliates and their members across the country took time to talk about #WhyIWrite.

 

Widespread Write-Ins

Another addition this this year was partnering with Jacqueline Woodson, beloved author and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, to offer resources for all grade levels that could support a classroom write-in. Woodson donated a day in the classroom of NCTE member and Lead Ambassador Lakisha Odlum. NCTE captured the experiences between author and students and created a set of videos that teachers in schools across the country shared with their own classes. The resources are relevant any day of the year so if you haven’t hosted a write-in yet, there’s still plenty of time to do so!

 

 

A Day for Writing Centers to Shine

One of the neat things that we noticed over the past several days was how college campus writing centers use the National Day on Writing as a way to raise awareness about the services and supports they offer. It was inspiring to see stories emerge about the critical roles these centers play in helping college students to thrive.

 

 

NCTE Members Invited Conversation

When they weren’t busy writing with their students or with each other, NCTE members were encouraging others to write or composing themselves.

 

 

Because the National Day on Writing fell on a Saturday this year, there were literally tens of thousands of messages and activities transpiring over the span of 4+ days as schools and communities, individuals and groups all sought ways to join the discussion. We know that writing is something we teach and do all year long, but we’re grateful for the many, many members who took the time out to speak up about why the work of teaching and learning to write is so very important. Looking forward to keeping this conversation going in Houston at #NCTE18. We have so many great things in store!