Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A @CwpFairfield Holiday in August (Like Christmas with Santa) But @SenatorDuff Comes to Town

Because of a spectacular application pool this year, I chose to double up on the Supporting Effective Educator Development Teacher Leadership grant to host 15 teachers at the Invitational Leadership Institute. With Federal support, I've also relied on the advocacy of literacy initiatives through the State of Connecticut. As routine, fiscal times in the Nutmeg State have become more and more dire and many organizations receiving support have been cut. Last year, funding was provided, however, to Central Connecticut State and Fairfield. I feel fortunate and lucky to still be able to hang on by a thread.

This summer, once again, the crew of 15 teachers report the National Writing Project experience is life-changing, rewarding, inspirational, motivating, educational and 100% worth the 5-weeks sacrificed over the summer. The institute attracts spectacular people who chose education as a career because they are lifelong learners who wish to make a difference in the lives of students.

Yesterday, Senator Bob Duff showed his support by visiting the elementary, middle, high school and college teachers to thank them for all that they are doing and to solicit concerns that he'd be able to bring back to the State Department. He shared the struggles the State currently faces and answered the questions the teachers posed to him. He acknowledged that each and every year the teachers report a passionate love for the Connecticut Writing Project and he is doing all he can to spread the word and to find ways to keep the wonderful work alive.

I am forever grateful to his dedication and willingness to offer his leadership and expertise to our site. I also have to give a special thumbs up to his son who patiently waited for an hour in the hallway as the Norwalk Senator talked to participants in our program. I know this, because I was out in the hallway, too (and next time I'm bringing an IPad to multitask as Bob Duff's son did). They both were great sports for the day.

I cannot express enough how appreciative I am to all he has given CWP-Fairfield. I know sites across the U.S. have not been as fortunate and I'm feeling grateful that we're still able to do what NWP has set out to do for 44 years.

It's hump day and for the teachers it ends on Thursday. As always, it will be sad to see this phenomenal crew separate into different directions. The bond has been irreplaceable and I'm moved to the highest level of my profession to continue the great work because of them. They are the true heroes...ones too seldom celebrated by our nation.

Thanks, Bob Duff. These individuals are the reason we do what we do, any way we can. I appreciate the man that you are.

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