By Janice Phelan, December 8, 2020
Photo by Katie Kline, courtesy of the Greater Kansas City Writing Project
The Greater Kansas City Writing Project at the University of Central Missouri (UCM), was awarded over $569,000 for the first year of a five year $2.3 million subgrant as part of a state-wide effort to improve literacy and ultimately the lives of Missouri children.
Funding from the U.S. Department of Education supports Missouri’s Comprehensive Literacy State Development program. Missouri was awarded $18 million, overall, and is one of just 11 states awarded funding through this grant program. The federal funds are earmarked for children from birth through 12th grade with grant monies being distributed over a five-year period.
Established in 1983, the Greater Kansas City Writing Project (GKCWP) is one of nearly 200 university-based National Writing Project sites. The organization focuses on a pre-kindergarten through college community of educators and lifelong learners. The Greater Kansas City Writing Project has been housed at UCM since 2016, supporting the education outreach work of the university’s Extended Studies.
The Writing Project’s mission is to enhance student achievement by improving the teaching of writing. Working in partnership with institutions, organizations and the community, the Greater Kansas City Writing Project seeks to develop and sustain leadership for educational improvement.
The Missouri Comprehensive Literacy State Development program was formed to complement the state’s commitment to literacy for students under the agency’s Show-Me Success plan. The goal of the project is to support educators’ working knowledge of evidence-based literacy strategies to effectively teach reading and writing to all students. This includes providing professional development to pre-service teachers in institutions of higher education, early childhood education teachers and K-12 educators to enable them to provide effective instruction. This grant will additionally support districts with developing evidence-based literacy plans to implement in their local schools while providing support for families.