Literacy Landscape Addressed by WriteonSports

Both national and local assessments of middle school students’ writing ability suggest that many students are struggling to develop the kinds of skills they will need to succeed in high school and beyond. While there are many reasons for this, several key aspects have been highlighted by research – students’ lack of motivation, their loss of confidence and a limited amount of time during the school day devoted to writing instruction. Write on Sports directly addresses these three issues by giving students the opportunity to write about topics of their choosing and by providing targeted instruction in small group and individualized settings that helps students finish pieces they are proud of.

During each Write on Sports camp, students learn the basic elements of good journalism, including how to prepare for and conduct an interview, how to look for reliable and relevant background information, and how to find a clear and engaging topic for each piece. The student to teacher ratio is typically 4:1, which allows teachers to give direct and intensive support to individual students around skills and strategies for identifying and researching topics, outlining and planning pieces, and using revision to make writing clearer and stronger.

Students apply their knowledge to writing spot stories and longer feature pieces that are collected and published as each camp’s magazine. As part of the camp, students meet and interview working journalists and athletes from a variety of sports (e.g., soccer, swimming, baseball). As part of the interview process, students work on their speaking, listening and critical thinking skills. Students also write, shoot and edit their own sports related videos, giving them a chance to further develop their facility with digital resources. Rather than simply learning how to operate cameras, students work on crafting compelling digital stories with distinct perspectives.