6 Educators Awarded 8th Annual College Board Bob Costas Grants for the Teaching of Writing

NEW YORK — Teachers across the country, and across disciplines, have been selected to receive the eighth annual College Board Bob Costas Grants for the Teaching of Writing to further their work to help students improve their writing.

The grants recognize exceptional teachers for using innovative methods to inspire their students to write. The award was created to support teachers and to thank Bob Costas, the Emmy Award–winning broadcaster and author, for his generous public service work on behalf of the National Commission on Writing. Each winner receives a grant of $3,000 to support her or his innovative work.

One grant recipient or teaching team was selected from each of the College Board’s six regions. The winners were recognized at each of the six regional forums in 2013:

  • Ethan Warner, an English teacher at O.H. Platt High School in Meriden, Conn., who also serves as the school’s theater director, had guided students through a production called Self-Scripted in the past school year. In this project, students chose a topic and wrote monologues, scenes, poems and music to be performed at two sold-out events. Proceeds from ticket sales benefited the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, an organization also selected by the students. The grant will help students take the production to other schools and share their work.

  • Jordan Daniels, an English teacher at Grimsley High School in Greensboro, N.C., has developed significant peer-editing programs with his classes and aims to offer a writing resource center that would serve the school, alumni and community, with trained students leading editing sessions.

  • Alyson Glass, teacher and chair of the English department at Geronimo Junior High and High School in Oklahoma, has brought AP® English Language and Composition to her rural school and is developing exciting ways to teach analytical and persuasive writing. She is forming a creative writing club and a magazine to showcase students’ work.

  • Sara Quezada, a teacher and chair of the Social Studies department at South El Monte High School in California, has helped students connect with their family histories by having students interview and write about the lives of their relatives. In these writings, students also research important historical events and trends that were part of earlier decades and shaped their families’ lives. With the help of the grant, she plans to publish a historical journal that includes students’ writing about local community activists.

  • Mattie Sullivan, an English language arts teacher at Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School in Indianapolis, develops her students’ writing and language skills — and encourages thoughtful self-examination — with “Our Time, Our Place,” a chronological journal of the class of 2013. The project, which began last year, also gives students some real-world perspective on writing and publishing. Two senior classes are set up as “publishing” companies, and students must query those companies, submitting essays, poems and other materials. The grant money will pay for publishing the journal.

  • Sara Graybeal, a senior community projects coordinator at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School in Pennsylvania, founded “Page to Stage,” a poetry team of students who also write and share their poetry in an online forum. Last year the students’ poetry was published in a chapbook by a city-based publishing company.

The grant will provide students with the opportunity to attend writing workshops and publish more of their writing.

Teachers from any discipline, in both public and nonpublic schools, are eligible for the Bob Costas Grants, as are writing programs that take place within schools or the community.