The email I just sent to Senator Bennett:
As former head of Denver Public Schools, it is my hope that you do not need me to urge you to vote no on the Coburn Amendment which would gut the funding for both National Writing Project, and Reading is Fundamental.
As a former student of DPS, the RiF program put the first brand new book into my hands. That moment, realizing that that book was mine, to keep, more than anything else, gave me permission to be a reader.
As a current Colorado teacher, the National Writing Project has enriched my practice and renewed my optimism time and again through both national conferences and the work of our local Denver Writing Project site.
I hope your education background helps you see the vital importance of a professional organization for reflective teachers, willing to engage in inquiry, put students at the center, and whittle away the institutional inequalities that have too often miscast and deprived large groups of students and then blamed their demographics.
Thank You Senator, your no vote is appreciated.
I’ll be sending something similar to Senator Udall. I know it’s a holiday weekend, but the vote is next week. Drop them an email; give them a call Monday. Coburn needs 67 votes out of 100; let’s make sure he does not get them.