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Teachers in the Acadiana area can earn six hours of graduate credit, develop their writing skills and learn new teaching ideas through a tuition-free summer course to be offered by UL Lafayette.

The program is the Acadiana Writing Project (AWP) annual Summer Institute, which will be held at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette from June 13 through July 14.

Participants' tuition will be paid by a combination of tuition reduction by the university and a stipend to each participant from the Acadiana Writing Project. This financial incentive is available to full-time teachers in both public and private schools.

These awards are available by advance application only. Interested teachers should apply by contacting Dr. Michael Maher, director of the Acadiana Writing Project and head of the UL Lafayette department of communication, at (337) 482-6103 or by email at tmm8088@louisiana.edu.

The institute will meet from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays during the five-week session. Successful completion earns participants six hours of graduate credit through English 499, a variable-topics course.

The institute introduces teachers to the latest classroom theory and practices in teaching writing. However, the institute also develops teachers as writers.

" We encourage applicants from all fields of education," Maher said. "Teachers of science, math, history and many other disciplines have developed both as teachers and as writers by participating in the summer institute."

An application form and further information is available on the Web at http://www.acadianawritingproject.org/summerinstitute.htm

After completing the summer institute, teachers can maintain their membership in AWP, which offers writing retreats, teaching workshops, travel to regional and national Writing Project meetings, the Yeah You Write summer youth writing institute, and both regional and state writing competitions for students.

The Acadiana Writing Project is sponsored by UL Lafayette and is funded by an annual grant from the National Writing Project, which is based in Berkeley, Cal. AWP was founded in 1989.

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