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image of CLP volunteer
                            at Bryant

"My eyes have been opened.  Many people don't realize the complexity; they just assume their kids go to school and things are good.  I am a different person because of this class."  --CLP Student,
Senior, Business

Thank you "for introducing me to many foundational concepts and ideas in education, sparking my passion for teaching, and providing me with many practical lesson ideas as well." -- a CLP alumna in first year as a teacher

For more information, contact

Elizabeth Simmons-O'Neill
Director, Community Literacy Program

Padelford A-14
English, Box 354330
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 685-3804

The Community Literacy Program

Are you a UW student interested in helping public school students succeed?  Looking for a meaningful way to earn your "Composition" or "W" credit? Getting real world experience to help you choose a major or a career path? Completing classroom hours for the Education, Learning and Society Minor or for application to a Masters in Teaching program?  Improving your research, writing, and collaborative learning and presentation skills?  Are you looking for an opportunity (in the words of Paul Farmer) to “use what you learn to transform yourself and your community”?  

If you answered yes to any of these questions, the Community Literacy Program may be just what you're looking for.

Community Literacy Program (CLP) is an 8 credit program linking English 298 and English 491 (Internship). In English 298, which may be used toward either the "C" (Composition) or "W" requirement,  you'll meet twice weekly on campus in a writing-intensive seminar focused on learning effective methods of working with students, exploring some central challenges and opportunities for public education, and using writing to inquire into, develop and communicate your thinking about these issues.  In the English 491 Internship, you'll put what you learn on campus into action, volunteering (4 hours a week, on a schedule you arrange) in one of our partner K-12 "high needs" public schools and programs in the Seattle and Shoreline Public School Districts.  (English Majors may register for CLP as a Capstone Course under an alternate number.   Contact Elizabeth Simmons-O'Neill for more information.)

Over 1100 students have participated in the Community Literacy Program since it began in 1992. CLP is one of the longest-running community-based ("service-learning") programs on our campus, and is also part of the Phoenix Project, a partnership including the UW English Department,  the UW College of Education, and Shoreline and Seattle Public Schools.  The Phoenix Project  is designed both to prepare future language arts teachers and to support K-12 language arts students. 

While many CLP students have gone on to work in education or related fields, CLP also appeals to students interested in experiential education, civic responsibility, a small workshop-based course, global citizenship, or a deeper connection to the Seattle community. Students often form strong bonds with the schools where they volunteer.  Many CLP students continue tutoring on their own after the quarter ends through independent study projects, or serve as undergraduate "Head Tutors," who work as Teaching Assistants and mentor tutors for new CLP students.  


Page last updated 1-22-2015
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