seal  Purdue News

July 21, 2003

Purdue educators connect dots between reading, writing

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University educators will help more than 400 teachers from all over the Midwest continue the fight against illiteracy.

Making Connections: Developing Writers through Powerful Teaching, on Tuesday through Thursday (7/22-24) at Purdue's Stewart Center, is the third annual Summer Literacy Institute for elementary school teachers, Literacy Collaborative coordinators and Reading Recovery teachers.

"People don't realize there is a reciprocity between reading and writing," said Maribeth Schmitt, director of the Purdue Literacy Network Project and professor of literacy and language education. "When it comes to literacy, most people just talk about reading. More people are learning that the more you write the better you will read because you are using some of the same thought processes."

The keynote speakers at this year's institute are Ralph Fletcher and Mary Ellen Giacobbe. Fletcher is nationally known for his books "Craft Lessons," "What a Writer Needs" and "How Writers Work." Giacobbe is a literacy consultant who works with Boston Public Schools and the Literacy Collaborative at Lesley University.

"In addition to the hundreds of teachers attending from Indiana and surrounding states, Nancy Waldron, from Zamorano, Honduras, will attend the institute to engage in discussions about literacy," Schmitt said. "She will be able to talk about the School of Education's new study abroad efforts in Honduras."

Some of the institute's other highlights include sessions in interactive writing, using assessment for decision making, reciprocity between reading and writing, and strengthening Literacy Collaborative implementation. There also are sessions for administrators. A schedule is available online.

The Summer Literacy Institute was funded by the Purdue Literacy Network Project, which receives support from North Central Health Services Foundation, State Farm Insurance, Vectren Corp. and Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union. The Purdue Literacy Network Project supports professional development for creating a comprehensive program for elementary students to ensure that all children are given the opportunity to become readers and writers early in their schooling. Reading Recovery, the Literacy Collaborative and the Professional Development Initiative are overseen by the Purdue Literacy Network Project.

Writer: Amy Patterson-Neubert, (765) 494-9723,

Sources: Maribeth Schmitt, (765) 494-5683,

Katrena Leininger, director of Professional Development Initiative and Reading Recovery teacher leader, (765) 494-2356,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;


Note to Journalists: To speak with Nancy Waldron, contact Maribeth Schmitt, director of the Purdue Literacy Project Network, at (765) 494-5683,


Related Web sites:
Purdue Literacy Collaborative
Purdue Reading Recovery
Professional Development Institute

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page