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Writing Our Lives-Bridgeport Set for May 21st, 2013

Writing Our Lives-Bridgeport Set for May 21st, 2013

Written by Bryan Ripley Crandall
May 18, 2013

Connecticut Writing Project–Fairfield to host Bridgeport students for daylong writing conference at Fairfield University 

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (May 3, 2013) – The Connecticut Writing Project–Fairfield (CWP), based at Fairfield University, will welcome more than 100 Bridgeport youth in grades 8 through 12 to campus on May 21, 2013, for the first Writing Our Lives-Bridgeport conference. Sponsored in part by Bank of America, the daylong event will highlight the importance of writing in and out of school in a wide variety of genres.

The media is invited to this event. A copy of the program can be found by clicking here.

“We are extremely thankful for Bank of America’s investment to writing programs for Connecticut youth,” said CWP Director, Bryan Ripley Crandall, Ph.D. “Their willingness to sponsor our work has helped us to envision larger events for young writers in southern Connecticut.” The Writing Our Lives movement began in 2009, when students in Syracuse, New York, expressed a desire for more opportunities to write. Dr. Marcelle Haddix, assistant professor at Syracuse University, responded and recruited Crandall to help her host community workshops. “It is an honor to carry Dr. Haddix’s vision to Connecticut,” stated Crandall. “Writing Our Lives empowers youth through personal expression, creativity, and tools for making a difference in the world.”

Writing Our Lives-Bridgeport will offer several workshops led by writers in a variety of careers and professions. “We’ve invited journalists, poets, and academics,” said Dr. Crandall, an assistant professor in Fairfield’s Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions. “We have presenters who compose for media organizations, who work with international non-profits, and who promote for the arts. The day will also feature the creative work of young adult novelist and children’s writer Kwame Alexander, who recently was nominated for the NAACP book awards.

The Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield is one of three National Writing Project locations in the state. Each year the CWP works at Fairfield University, CCSU, and UCONN to sponsor summer institutes for teachers and to offer youth programming with a mission to promote best practices for writing. There are two sessions of the 2013 Young Writers’ Institute for students in grades 6 to 12 – July 8 through 19 and July 22 through August 2. CWP-Fairfield will also run a new Younger Writers’ Institute for children in grades 3 to 5 from July 8 through 12. All sessions run Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with lunch included. Applications and more details are available at

“The Common Core State Standards adopted by Connecticut expects a lot more writing across all content areas and grade levels,” Dr. Crandall said. “Students will need to demonstrate proficiency in a wider variety of genres written for audiences with purposes that matter to them. Educators who are part of the National Writing Project network are better prepared to these challenges.” NWP is often applauded as the best professional development model for teachers and the positive influence they have on preparing students as writers in school and beyond.

The Writing Our Lives-Bridgeport event is meant to stimulate conversations about writing and literacy. Working with Hoops4Hope, a non-profit that teaches children life skills in Africa, the participants will explore what Literacy4Life means. “We want every student who attends the conference to leave inspired. We want them to return to school with a passion for writing and changing the world.”

Media Contact: Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950,;

Dr. Bryan Ripley Crandall (203) 254-4000 ext. 3123,

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