Western Massachusetts Writing Project celebrates 20th anniversary
AMHERST — The Western Massachusetts Writing Project is preparing to mark its 20th anniversary Wednesday with a program honoring a Hatfield woman who was named Massachusetts Teacher of the Year and comments from Sharon Washington, executive director of the National Writing Project.
The event is set for 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Marriott Room of the Campus Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Titled “Opening Doors and Reinventing Teaching Practices,” the program will recognize Anne Marie Bettencourt of Hatfield, a co-director of the writing project and an English teacher at Central High School in Springfield. Bettencourt is the fourth WMWP teacher selected as Teacher of the Year. The previous recipients include Mary Ginley, Bruce Penniman and Floris Wilma Ortiz-Marrero.
At the event, WMWP will release its newest publication, “Writing to Go II,” a book featuring a range of writing assignments by WMWP teachers, each coupled with student work. Participating teachers and students represent schools in Hampshire, Hampden and Worcester counties.
The group will also celebrate its growth from a cadre of 15 teacher leaders who completed the organization’s first summer institute in 1993 to a project that in 2011-12 delivered professional development programs to more than 1,100 Massachusetts educators. The Western Massachusetts Writing Project is a site of the National Writing Project, and affiliated with the English department and College of Humanities and Fine Arts at UMass Amherst.