The Oklahoma State University Writing Project has been selected as a LRNG Innovators award recipient for its project, “Writing the Past, Changing the Future: A Century of Learning the 1921 Race Massacre,” which connects youth interests to larger networks, mentors and forums where they can share their work and amplify their message.
Dr. Shelbie Witte, OSU Writing Project site director and the Kim and Chuck Watson Endowed Chair in Education, leads the project alongside Dr. Shanedra Nowell, assistant professor of social studies education; Dr. Kalianne Neumann, assistant professor of educational technology; and Dewayne Dickens, a representative of the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation in Tulsa. The team also includes 200 students and eight Oklahoma middle schools and high schools from regions across the state.
This year’s challenge invited educators to design ways that youth can share their work with their communities, build real-world connections and have impact on the issues that matter most to them. The challenge is supported by John Legend’s The Show Me Campaign and the National Writing Project.
“We believe every young person deserves access to a quality education,” said Legend regarding the challenge. “We know that teachers have the unique power to change students’ lives, and we’re excited to continue supporting educators who are designing innovative ways to inspire young people.”
The LRNG Innovators Challenge supports teams of educators in designing, testing and sharing solutions that build the future of creative and connected learning today. During the next 15 months, LRNG Innovators grantees will develop, pilot and share promising ways to support, showcase and celebrate the powerful work that youth create when they have opportunities to explore interests and ideas that are valuable to them and their communities. As part of the design process, the educators form the 10 projects will benefit from co-founder National Writing Project’s deep experience supporting teacher leadership through local and national networks.
“Across the country there are innovative teachers and engaged young people who are creating a new vision of what education can be, now and into the future,” said Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, executive director of the National Writing Project. “Through LRNG Innovators and with support from the U.S. Department of Education, National Writing Project invests in great teachers and youth so that, ultimately, we can learn from them.”
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