In the Writing Next report, literacy experts note that “along with reading comprehension, writing skill is a predictor of academic success and a basic requirement for participation in civic life and in the global economy” (Graham & Perin, 2007). Drawing on the work of the Writing Next report, Robb (2010) provides some essential recommendations for increasing students’ writing achievement:

  • Students need to write daily to learn to write well
  • Students need opportunities to apply what they have learned about writing genres, craft, and technique from the texts they read to their own writing
  • During the school year, students have opportunities to write for a variety of purposes and audiences as part of their coursework across all content areas. However, in the summer months, this daily writing habit may not be maintained

To help schools encourage students to continue developing as writers during the summer, the Office of Middle & Secondary Learning would like to present and fund a summer writing challenge for students in Grades 6-12.

Summer Writing Portfolio Challenge for Middle and High Schools:

  • Challenge Guidelines

    • Open to all middle and high schools
    • Encourages students to sharpen their craft and technique in a variety of genres for diverse purposes and audiences and keep them in a writing portfolio (digital or hard copy)
      • narrative, argumentative, informative
      • essays, short stories, articles, poems, blogs

  • WVDE Supports

    • Sample list of 20 short writing products available
    • Sample methods available to collect and count student writing portfolios
    • School-level reporting method (Microsoft Forms)
    • Recognition to middle and high school with greatest percentage of students who submit a writing portfolio (factoring in student participation rate and total student enrollment) 

  • Student Participation

    • Practice writing techniques and skills on a variety of pieces in their writing portfolios
    • Submit writing portfolio using the method selected by the school

  • School Responsibilities

    • Determine a method collecting/counting writing portfolios
    • Building representative totals the amount of portfolios submitted and enters school-level data into Microsoft Form created by WVDE
      • Number of students who submitted a portfolio
      • Total number of students enrolled in school

WVDE will award grants for county evaluation of submissions based on participation.  Additional grants will be awarded to further support literacy initiatives at the county level.