Genesee Valley Writing Project

Genesee Valley Writing Project

Director/PI: Joanne Larson

This collaborative school-university partnership seeks to improve the teaching and learning of writing in PK-16 schools across the Genesee Valley region through a teachers-teaching-teachers professional development model. Highlights include summer institutes for teachers and a writing camp for youth in grades 6-12.

Collaborators: Writers & Books
National Writing Project
NEAD Freedom School

Funding: National Writing Project

Related Projects: Genesee Valley Writing Project Summer Institute

The Genesee Valley Writing Project (GVWP) collaborates with school districts to host summer institutes that support teachers in all grades and content areas improve the teaching and learning of writing in their schools.  

The writing project also hosts a Young Writers Camp for students in grades 6-12 who love to write and want to spend time with like-minded peers practicing different kinds of writing. We welcome students who are good writers, as well as those who want to improve their writing skills. New York State certified teachers provide instruction on writing strategies, but the writing genres are open to the writers themselves.

The GVWP also colloborates with East High on the College, Career and Community Writers Program (C3WP), which is funded by the National Writing Project.  C3WP answers the contemporary call for respectful, source-based argument. The program offers intensive professional development and instructional resources that support students in reading critically, exploring multiple points of view, and taking a stand on important issues.

Sponsored by and housed within the Warner School and administered through the Warner Center for Professional Development and Education Reform, the Genesee Valley Writing Project is directed by Joanne Larson, a leading scholar in new literacies. The project serves teachers and students from urban and suburban schools in Monroe and surrounding counties.

Using a teachers-teaching-teachers model, the GVWP allows participating teachers to tap into what is known about writing and the teaching of writing from all sources—their own writing, key research findings, important books and articles, and most importantly, the classroom practices of effective and successful teachers.

In its mission to improving the quality of student writing and learning in area schools, the GVWP sponsors an array of programs including contracts for Summer Institutes, school-based inservice programs, professional development continuity programs, summer camp for youth, and grant support for source-based argument writing.

Summer Institutes help participating teachers to study classroom strategies for teaching writing, read and discuss research, and improve their knowledge of writing by writing themselves. The program features collaborative writing groups, teacher demonstration workshops, reading research groups, and presentations that draw from local and national literacy expertise.

The community of teacher leaders formed during the Summer Institute becomes the foundation for the continuing work of the GVWP. Writing Project Fellows are encouraged to remain involved with our local and national Writing Project network and are supported in developing community outreach programs, school-based inservice workshops, collaborative partnerships, and teacher study groups to support the goals of the National Writing Project in the Greater Rochester community.

Find out more information on the Summer Institute online, or contact Joanne Larson at (585) 275-0900 or

Video Chronicles the Genesee Valley Writing Project

View the video on YouTube.

Tags: Center for Professional Development and Education Reform, Genesee Valley Writing Project, Joanne Larson, Summer Institute