Project Outreach - Supporting Development

 The Greater Kansas City Writing Project continually reflects upon itself  and its work through the lenses of Access, Relevance, and Diversity. A  major resource for this reflection is the Project Outreach Network, a  national community of writing projects who support resource development  and program activities to enhance the capacity of local sites to  understand and address issues of equity in their local programming. 


Project Outreach

How it All Got Started

GKCWP initiated its self-reflection during the 2004-05 school year in  a series of dialogues, assisted by critical friends from  the National Writing Project, and focusing on the relevance of our work  to the people we serve, the access of those people to our work as  writers and teachers of writing, and to the diversity of our  organizational structure and decision-making. 

During the first year,  2005-2006, we found that the majority of communities impacted by poverty  lived within the core of the metropolitan area and within the school  districts represented in the urban core, over 80% of students live in  poverty. However, our programs seldom served those areas, our leadership  rarely represent those areas, and our thinking and planning had not  proportionately or equitably opened to those areas.

In  year two of Project Outreach, 2006-2007, we focused on making the heart  of our program, the Summer Institute in-self, more accessible, relevant,  and diverse. By the summer of 2008, our site had more than doubled the  number of participants from rural and urban school districts. We had  doubled the percent of teachers who participate in GKCWP after their  initial experience in the Summer Institute, and we had more than doubled  the number of content area disciplines involved in the writing  institute.

Our Approach

We use a  collaborative decision-making process as teams of  teacher-consultants work together to bring more diverse programs and  more creative ways of thinking to the future of GKCWP.  


Thomas Ferrel, Co-Director

Project Outreach Network Coordinator