Collection

As We Continue: Opening the Walls of the Classroom and the Boundaries of the Park

Curated by Christina Cantrill
December 16, 2019

In 2016 Judy Buchanan curated a set of resources emerging from a growing partnership between the National Park Service (NPS) and the National Writing Project (NWP) designed to bolster connected learning opportunities within the national parks and reach more young visitors and educators.

Through a continuing collaboration with the NPS, as well as investment from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, these partnerships have continued and have produced the new resources curated here. Included are artifacts created by educators, youth and families writing and connecting with their local parks together. Parks include those that are historically focused like the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site in Arkansas as well as more environmentally based ones such as the Blackstone River Valley National Historic Park in Rhode Island.

Students in Providence Rhode Island interpreting stories of transportation, social life, environmental pollutions, and manufacturing in the Blackstone River Valley National Historic Park.

“The depth of material and knowledge the spaces hold is endless and invigorating to dive into,” said Diane Waff, director of the Philadelphia Writing Project during a meeting bringing together leaders across this work. Working from this abundance, NWP educators and NPS park ranger have created a two-week open online event in October called Write Out: Making Stories of People, Place, and Perspectives.

Organized around the notion that every location, both the spectacular and the seemingly mundane, tells a story that extends from the distant past to the distant future, Write Out is designed to support the exploration of natural resources and cultural experiences to develop an awareness of place and use it to inspire writing. Informed by place-based learning and writing practices, Write Out aims to support writing in public places and then surface and share stories from around the country online.

We invite you to explore these resources, use and remix whatever you find helpful in your own context, and connect with us online via #writeout to share your stories as well as additional resources. We look forward to connecting with you.

Collection image: Rangers lead writers on an exploration of Homestead National Monument in Nebraska. Credit to Erin Chambers.

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