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AWP Caucus for K-12 Creative Writing Instructors

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Thank you for taking the time to consider lending your name to this petition to create a caucus for K-12 creative writing educators at the 2015 AWP conference in Minneapolis.

Over the last several months, a group of K-12 writer-educators from across the country has been discussing the benefits of creating a caucus under the auspices of AWP that would serve the unique needs of writer-educators who teach in primary and secondary schools.

At the time we approached them, the Associated Writing Programs did not have a policy or process for creating new caucuses, so they have created one: we must gather the names of30 AWP members who have been members for at least 3 years and attended the last 3 AWP conferences. If you fit this description, please consider signing.

Why do we need a K-12 Caucus? With increased focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in school curricula, and the movement toward the implementation of a Common Core, funding for arts education is in serious trouble. A K-12 caucus would provide a forum for educators to develop and share strategies for integrating creative writing into STEM, Common Core, and/or state-mandated curricula. It would also create a space for sharing pedagogical best practices that are developmentally appropriate. And, in the long term, the caucus would help to create a national network for K-12 educators who teach creative writing. In addition, given the saturated nature of the higher-ed job market, the caucus would promote primary and secondary schools as a viable employment opportunity for MFA graduates.

Issues that caucus might take up in the future include:

*Building curricula for specific school environments and populations (rural, urban, exurban; public, private, independent, arts schools, religiously affiliated; ESL and international students; GLBTQ students; and students with medical and/or emotional challenges)

*Creative Writing as a tool for interrupting cycles of violence and oppression, such as bullying, gun violence, self-harm, bigotry and racism.

*How to build a creative writing reading series or program in your school.

*Identifying ways that faculty can create alliances and build collaborative partnerships with STEM teachers.

*Identifying ways that writer-educators can remain productive in their own writing lives while teaching heavy loads, carrying out administrative duties, and advising extracurricular activities.

*Identifying ways that K-12 educators can build partnerships with community-based writing programs and creative writing programs within higher-ed.

If you are eligible, I hope that you will consider signing this petition. If you are not eligible, please share this or pass it along to someone who you think might be.


Dave Griffith

Director of Creative Writing

Interlochen Center for the Arts

Monika Cassel

Chair, English Department

New Mexico School for the Arts

Scott Gould

Chair, Creative Writing Department

South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities

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