Monthly Archives: March 2010

Wordamour & Son Go to Washington

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We’re here!  Yesterday was our first full day in DC and the big day on the hill.  It was incredible!  Lots of good news to report–
we met Senator Blanche Lincoln and Representatives Snyder and Boozman–3 out of 4!  Not bad–and definitely better than last year’s status, especially given it was voterama on the health care bill (yes, apparently voterama has a definition).

Ya think it was an election year or something?

The best part was that they really seemed to get it about the danger the National Writing Project is in with Secretary Duncan’s plan to destroy consolidate national programs (the other 4 in the same boat with us, RIF-Reading is Fundamental, EvenStart, PBS’Ready to Learn and Teach for America!).  Vic Snyder signed on to our House Dear Colleague letter (a shout out to Little Rock NWP site director Sally Crisp, who badgered his aide via email until he did).  Senator Lincoln listened VERY intently and said, “I’m sure a compromise can be worked out to save these programs.”  Mark Pryor’s aide was very attentive.  And Representative Boozman, when learning it was too late to sign the House Dear Colleague letter (he couldn’t have signed anyway, apparently the Republicans have taken some sort of oath not to sign these things) promised to actually contact the sub-committee the program falls in under Appropriations and pledge his support for us.

Best of all, Wordamour’s son got a total insider’s tour of DC. In fact, we were late getting from Lincoln’s office to Bozeman’s, so an Intern (who had just graduated from UCA in December!) put us on one of those “Members Only,” underground trains.  Then when we got to Bozeman’s, he had just left for a series of votes.  So we actually got into the House while they were voting on the healthcare bill and Bozeman came out and met us in the hallway between votes.

We were traveling with the NW Arkansas writing project site (check out their awesome new website) who are a GREAT bunch of people.  Wordamour’s son thought they were totally hilarious–I knew he would; they are very funny people who know how to have a good time and get the work done.  They were very tolerant of having a 13 year old along for the ride but–proud Mama moment here–they were also very complimentary of how well he handled himself during the rounds of meetings.  He really did!

Today–meetings all day and then the Spy Museum tonight. Check out some more pictures:

Bye y’all,

SV
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Wordamour’s son was intrigued by this

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“Ridin that train. . .”

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“Senator Lincoln and the Arkansas Delegation”

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The Bright Future of Publishing is. . .

here.

This brief video is an absolute MUST SEE–and you have to watch all the way to the end.

In give away news, I’m a little late with the last drawing, but it’s coming soon.

Wordamour and her 13 year old are going to DC this week to lobby for the National Writing Project. We have a stack of letters written by his eight grade classmates, all of whom have the most AWESOME writing project teacher this year, and he will hand deliver them to Senators Lincoln and Pryor, possibly Rep. Snyder although his office is being slow about getting back to us, as they are every year.

Can you tell I’m excited about the meeting and the mother-son trip?

In other news, Wordamour has just become a member of the National Association of Railroad Passengers. I guess I traveled Amtrak enough times that I got on their mailing list and I have to say, I’m pretty chuffed, as my UK friends say, to be a member. I even get 10% off my rail travel. And yes, that’s how we’re getting to DC, it being spring break and all, we have the time. . .and you should see the first class rail lounge in Chicago.

For an awesome flash animation view of how the rail system in the US could look if we expanded the right way, click here

Hoping to blog more about the trip. . .

Bye y’all,
SV

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Bud the Teacher vs. Arne Duncan’s Press Sec.

Bud the Teacher, a Colorado NWP teacher consultant, has finally engaged Arne Duncan’s press secretary in a pointed discussion about the administration’s plan’s for the writing project. Check it out here:

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Giveway Update and Struggling Writer News

The randomizer has spoken. The first two winners of Writing to Change the World are

Jim Mayer
Kristen Schyoll

Don’t forget you still have a chance to win the last copy by writing your legislator and letting me know about it. The drawing is the end of this week (see the previous post).

Finally, want to read a fun and true story and help a struggling LA writer? Jake is trying to keep body and soul together as a writer in LA and his nightmare job story is a finalist here. Read it and vote for it–help him win!!!

I’m headed to New Orleans for a writing project conference tomorrow–but I hope to check in at some point.

Congratulations, Winners!

Bye y’all,
SV

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