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The Philadelphia Writing Project (PhilWP) became a National Writing Project site at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education in Philadelphia in 1986. With a network of over 700 educators in the Greater Philadelphia region, the Philadelphia Writing Project affects the lives of thousands of young people.
PhilWP has only one primary service area--the city and county of Philadelphia. Our professional development efforts are focused on the public, private, religious, and charter school communities that make up this large, urban, and highly diverse city. Most of PhilWP’s work, however, has been in traditional public schools of the School District of Philadelphia.
The School District of Philadelphia is the eighth largest school district in the nation by enrollment (according to figures updated December 2013) with 131,362 students plus an additional 60,774 in 86 charter schools. The School District of Philadelphia serves a population that includes 52.8% African American students, 8.1% Asian students, 19.0% Hispanic students, 14.4% white students, 0.2% Native American students, and 1.6% of the students listed as "other" in its 214 public schools. The districts includes 149 elementary schools, 16 middle schools, 49 neighborhood high schools, 31 magnet or special admit high schools, and 19 schools that are primarily disciplinary programs. The school district serves over 11,879 ELL students, who speak more than 70 languages.
In the 2009-2010 school year, 950 educators participated in PhilWP professional development programs, resulting in over 15,000 contact hours with teachers. PhilWP also hosted 3 one-week summer writing camps for students entering grades 7-12. Teachers who benefited from connections with the Philadelphia Writing Project impacted over 57,000 students in 2009-2010.
For the 2009-2010 fiscal year, PhilWP received $66,000 dollars in federal funding and garnered an additional $223,000 in grants and professional development contracts.
In the past five years, PhilWP has had over 126,000 contact hours with 4,250 educators (some educators may have participated in more than one year) across the greater Philadelphia region. These educators have taken what they have learned and practiced with PhilWP back into the classrooms and schools, reaching over 255,300 students over the course of five years.
Find out more about the programs PhilWP sponsors for:
The Philadelphia Writing Project continues to work toward educational equity through a diverse set of programs and professional development sessions.