2018 Invitational Summer Institute

The 2018 Invitational Summer Institute (ISI) of the Lowcountry Writing Project (LWP) was a three-week professional development opportunity for Lowcountry teachers, particularly those serving historically underserved downtown Charleston schools. The Institute took place in July 2018, reaching 15 teachers with in-depth, ongoing, and research-based learning opportunities related to writing and writing instruction. Additionally, 25 students from downtown elementary schools participated in a week-long “young writers” camp, where they received personal writing instruction from the Institute teachers. SC Humanities helped support this program with a Fast Track Literary Grant.

The 2018 Invitational Summer Institute was developed because of the need for improved professional development for elementary and secondary teachers in writing instruction. The Project Director, Dr. Lauren Rule Maxwell, explained that teachers have received less support in learning to teach writing than they have for other subjects, such as reading and mathematics. The Citadel sponsors the Lowcountry Writing Project and the Invitational Summer Institute.

By all accounts, the 2018 Invitational Summer Institute was very successful. Feedback from teachers who participated was overwhelmingly positive. One teacher said: “Absolutely the best experience of my new teaching career.” Another teacher described some of the meaningful programming: “The teachers and students participating in this program were highly engaged in dialogue, inquiry-based writing lessons, student-driven projects, and a poetry workshop with a local poet.” A compilation of student writings from the camp was printed, and each camper received a copy, which made them very proud. A participating teacher said: “I feel this camp gave students the opportunity to interact as writers and will be a great boost for them in the coming school year.”

More information about the Lowcountry Writing Project can be found on The Citadel website here: http://www.citadel.edu/root/lowcountry-writing-project.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state.  It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.