Improving the Blank Page

The Acadiana Writing Project/GEAR UP Fellowship is a unique opportunity for qualified educators. The program includes two weeks of professional development held on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In addition to completing 2 weeks in the summer, AWP/GEAR UP Writing Fellows will also be expected to lead writing clubs in their schools and will complete follow-up professional development and assist with the coordination and execution of student showcases in the fall and spring.


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The Acadiana Writing Project/GEAR UP Fellowship

For more than 25 years, the exemplary educators who make up the Acadiana Writing Project (AWP) – the local site of the federally funded National Writing Project (NWP) –have worked at every level of education to improve writing and literacy. They have made AWP an important resource for teachers and schools in our area as a model of professional development, teacher leadership and reform.

It is the belief of the AWP and the NWP that teachers are the best teachers of other teachers. We seek teachers who are dedicated to helping students become better writers, who promote equity for all students, and who are interested in taking on leadership in the ongoing work of the Acadiana Writing Project.

Every year new teachers are recruited to become AWP/GEAR UP Fellows. These teachers work with students and other teachers at the respective schools to build creative cultures of expression on our GEAR UP school campuses.

Students are given an opportunity to come to a week-long intensive writing camp in the summer. Their work is published with the consent of a parent or guardian.

During the school year, writing clubs are formed to help students build on the work from the summer and continue to learn new strategies and concepts around written expression.

Uniquely Inspiring

The AWP/GEAR UP Fellowship program is the brainchild of Dr. Toby Daspit, Associate Professor of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Co-Director of the National Writing Project of Acadiana. Dr. Daspit’s passion for written expression has kept him connected to the teachers who touch so many of our youth and help to mold their creative outlets by bringing unique and inspiring ways to improve on the blank pages that exist in their lives.