With modified schedules due to state testing, the end of the first quarter on the horizon, the anticipation the first school dance next week, the expected sugar-buzz of Halloween and the promise of no school the day after – today’s celebration of the National Day on Writing was the perfect opportunity to celebrate the often overlooked forms of writing we engage in each and every day.
As written on the NCTE website:
Why a National Day on Writing?
In light of the significance of writing in our national life, to draw attention to the remarkable variety of writing we engage in, and to help writers from all walks of life recognize how important writing is to their lives, October 20, 2010, will be celebrated as The National Day on Writing. The National Day on Writing will
- celebrate the foundational place of writing in Americans’ personal, professional, and civic lives.
- point to the importance of writing instruction and practice at every grade level, for every student and in every subject area from preschool through university. (See The Genteel Unteaching of America’s Poor.)
- emphasize the lifelong process of learning to write and composing for different audiences, purposes, and occasions.
- recognize the scope and range of writing done by the American people and others.
- honor the use of the full range of media for composing
- encourage Americans to write and enjoy and learn from the writing of others.
Writing in the 21st century is vastly different than in the past. Journal entries and thoughtful reflections are being shared on blogs and in status updates. Audience and purpose, commenting and “liking” the writing of our “friends” has become so routine that we hardly recognize it as writing, reading and responding.
A few students from my first hour scoured the halls in search of found writing, which we then displayed on our “Why we write…” poster as an creative display. It was interesting to hear from students and to realize the ways in which school has seemingly shaped their definition of what “writing” really is and what it means.
I have some friends planning elaborately orchestrated celebrations today, and I look forward to hearing about all the varied activities and successes. Whether it’s a poster, a website, a grocery list, or a simple acknowledgment that writing is everywhere I hope you’ll join me in celebrating today!