The National Independence Park Service and the National Writing Project partnered to work with Scholastic Awards recipients and other writers.

The National Independence Park Service and the National Writing Project partnered to work with Scholastic Awards recipients and other writers.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ national office in New York City is dedicated to growing and supporting local programs across the country. Our Affiliates are doing great work in their communities, and we love hearing about their outreach efforts, their students, and their programs. This month, we shine the spotlight on the Philadelphia Writing Region, which is overseen by the Philadelphia Writing Project, located at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and part of the National Writing Project. Here’s what the staff at the Philadelphia Writing Project had to say about Awards activity in their region:

The Philadelphia Writing Project (PhilWP) has been the regional affiliate for the writing portion of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for six years. The summer of 2015 was particularly filled with exciting events in preparation for the 2016 Scholastic Awards season. 

Gold and Silver Key recipients participate in "Philly Takes the Mic" to share portions of their written pieces.

Gold and Silver Key recipients participate in Philly Takes the Mic to share portions of their written pieces.

This past summer, the Philadelphia Writing Project joined the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and the NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) for Philly Takes the Mic, an afternoon of teen readings at the Penn Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. On July 11, over twenty-four teens and pre-teens took to the mic to read and share a two-minute portion of their best work with a supportive audience. Readers included aspiring writers from around the region, ACT-SO awardees, and alumni of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, including 2015 Gold and Silver Key recipients.

From July 13 to July 24, twenty-four teens explored the power of language and images at Independence National Historic Park where some of the most enduring documents in American history were drafted. Many of these teens were Gold and Silver Key recipients. Project Write is a summer program in collaboration with Independence National Historical Park and the National Writing Project where students visit the past each day, discovering park sites and stories still relevant to the lives of American teens today. Participants blog, tweet, and use digital images and video to inspire future generations.

Tying technology with writing was a key component to this summer's Project Write.

Tying technology with writing was a key component to this summer’s Project Write.

Now that the summer is drawing to a close, PhilWP has begun programming for the 2015-16 school year. Friday Night Writes is an opportunity for students in grades 7-12 to meet at the Philadelphia Writing Project office with writing coaches on Friday nights from September through December to revise and polish their submissions to the Scholastic Awards. Coaches are typically PhilWP teachers in the K-12 system, but they are also graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.

Once adjudication begins early in 2016, PhilWP will continue its tradition of using virtual adjudication for jurors who are physically unable to come to our office. This important feature allows jurors from around the country with various expertise to take part in the adjudication process.

Judging is a collaborative effort at the Philadelphia Writing Project.

Judging is a collaborative effort at the Philadelphia Writing Project.

The Philadelphia Writing Project along with the University of the Arts, the Philadelphia regional affiliate for the arts portion of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, has continued to enjoy a mutually respectful relationship throughout these past six years. Once again, our awards ceremony will take place in the spring at the University of the Arts in Center City, Philadelphia. During the ceremony, Gold and Silver Key recipients have their art and writing showcased in an exciting display on a large screen onstage and each student is given the chance to acknowledge their work and their inspiration.

The Philadelphia Writing Project looks forward to another year of stimulating submissions and activity as we highlight the promise of young writers in our region.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are proud to work with organizations like the Philadelphia Writing Project to help talented students receive recognition for their creative efforts. By partnering together, the Philadelphia Writing Project and the Scholastic Awards give our youth the support they need to become lasting members of their art and writing communities.

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