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Building better boy writers

Dear Editor:

I want to thank the Aspen Education Foundation (AEF) for awarding our team of Aspen Elementary School teachers: Dee Searing, Denise Vetromile, Mimi Hauenstein and Kay Erickson, a Grant for Excellence to pursue a professional development study about boy writers. Boy writers currently are one of the hottest issues being discussed in the field of literacy. Our goal ultimately is to help all students become better writers, but this grant allows us to focus on boys who tend to score lower on standardized writing assessments. AEF’s grant paid for the four of us to attend a conference in Denver with Katie Wood Ray. It was invaluable in helping us understand ways to modify classroom instruction in writing to make it more “boy-friendly”, and we immediately planned and implemented several successful classroom lessons as a result of that conference.

What you, the public, really need to know is that the Aspen Education Foundation was the impetus to create a core group of “boy-writer experts” who are knowledgeable and willing to effectively share information about best practices. This researched-based model of professional development that AEF funded is highly effective. The Trainer-of-Trainer model uses the expertise of master teachers within the system to initiate and support colleagues’ learning. Fifteen teachers and all of their students are benefiting from AEF’s interest and financial support of our project.



So, thank you to AEF for all they do to expand and enrich learning in the Aspen School District.

Dee Searing, writing specialist




Aspen Elementary School

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