The Area 3 Writing Project (A3WP) is a professional development
network for California teachers and administrators. A3WP uses a
teachers-teaching-teachers model to share the successful
practices of those educators who effectively teach writing at all
The Area 3 Writing Project’s Invitational Summer Institute
invites 15-20 teachers representing different grade levels,
experience, school districts, and curricular areas to discuss
writing practices, examine and critique current research, and
engage in professional and personal writing.
The Writing Project recognizes the expertise of successful
classroom teachers and puts these teachers to work teaching
others. This is a model that celebrates superior teaching and
superior teachers, a model that puts a premium on what is working
and what is possible in all classrooms.
Karen Smith is director of the Area 3 Writing Project
(A3WP). She has been involved with A3WP leadership since 1991 and
has served as director since 2005. An elementary teacher since
1984, Karen also teaches elementary science (part-time) in
M.A., Curriculum and Instruction, California State
University, Sacramento, 1993
Multiple Subject Credential, California State University,
B.A,. Liberal Studies (Minor in Spanish), California State
University, Chico, 1982
Since the creation of the Bay Area Writing Project (BAWP) at UC
Berkeley in 1974, the writing project model for staff development
in the teaching of writing has been replicated statewide and
nationwide. The Area 3 Writing Project (A3WP) at UC Davis is one
of the 17 projects in the California Writing Project network and
one of 200 in the National Writing Project network.
Established in 1981, A3WP is a professional development network
for California teachers and administrators that follows the
writing project teachers-teaching-teachers model, with all
programs and activities based upon the following principles:
Student writing can be improved by improving the teaching of
writing, and the best teacher of other teachers is a successful
Programs designed to improve the teaching of writing must
involve teachers of all grade levels and should be
collaboratively planned by schools and universities.
Large-scale educational change occurs only over time and can
best be accomplished by those who work within the schools.
What is known about the teaching of writing comes from
research and from the successful practices of those who teach
Because writing is fundamental to critical thinking and
learning in all subject areas, all writing project programs
should involve teachers from across the disciplines.
Teachers of writing must also write, for only by writing can
teachers fully understand what they are asking of their students.
In addition to the writing project’s core Invitational Summer
Institute, A3WP conducts demonstration workshop series, hosts
intensive one- and two-week summer open programs, designs and
conducts staff development inservice programs for schools and
districts, collaborates on extended partnerships with schools and
districts, and offers research opportunities for teachers and
administrators throughout our thirteen-county region, which
extends from the inland reaches of the Sacramento River Delta,
throughout the Sacramento Valley, and up to the Sierra foothills
and the greater Lake Tahoe region.
For more information about any of our programs, please contact
Karen Smith, Director, at (530) 752-8392 or email@example.com