You’ve read my numerous posts about the National Writing Project on this blog, about the many legislative crises we’ve had to weather in the last year. Well, now the worst has happened: the NWP, along with a long list of high-quality national literacy programs, was defunded in the stopgap budget. That’s right, defunded. Zeroed out. Destroyed.
This blog post joins one of the hundreds (I hope) of blog posts heard round the world in the Blogging for NWP weekend (March 18-20) to remedy this perilous situation.
If we don’t rally the country to put pressure on Congress to get us back into the budget, the single best professional development support organization for teachers, the single best way to raise a nation of strong writers and readers in the twenty first century will cease to exist on a national level. That’s over twenty years of national investment, hundreds of millions of dollars, down the tubes, by the way.
But you can help. In the process, you will gain immeasurable karma and good feeling and you will also be entered into a drawing to win a signed copy of my friend, Bill Lychack’s brand new story collection, The Architect of Flowers (more about Bill and the book below).
So: here are some links that will tell you exactly what you need to do to help the NWPWorks page, which includes sample letter templates and easy ways to contact your legislators and the NCTE Action Alert page. The latter is so easy–type in your zip code and presto, you get an email you can modify and send to your congressperson–it’s all ready to go addressed and everything.
It’s fairly simple, will take very little of your time and has the potential to do so much good. Send me a copy of the letter or send me confirmation of receipt–any kind of proof and I will enter you in a drawing for signed copy of this dazzling new collection of stories. Moreover, if you lobby congress AND write your own blog post about the effort as part of blogging for NWP this weekend, you’ll get an extra 3 entries!
The drawing will take place March 31, to coincide with the NWP’s Advocacy day on Capitol Hill.
The Architect of Flowers will be released March 23, so the lucky winner of this signed copy will be one of the first to receive this second book by one of the twenty-first century’s most important new writers.
The author of the critically acclaimed debut novel, The Wasp Eater, William Lychack’s newest collection, The Architect of Flowers, was selected for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers list for the Summer 2011 season. For more information on Bill, including news about his current book tour and excerpts of his stunning writing, look to www.lychack.com. Thanks, Bill, for helping us out!
Bye for now y’all,