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The Philadelphia Writing Project (PhilWP) became a National Writing Project site at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education in Philadelphia in 1986. With a network of over 800 educators in the Greater Philadelphia region, the Philadelphia Writing Project affects the lives of thousands of young people.

PhilWP has only one primary service area--the city and county of Philadelphia. Our professional development efforts are focused on the public, private, religious, and charter school communities that make up this large, urban, and highly diverse city. 

About the School District of Philadelphia

The School District of Philadelphia is the eighth-largest school district in the nation by enrollment (according to figures updated in April, 2018). It currently has 202,538 students. The School District of Philadelphia serves a population that includes 53% African American students, 6% Asian students, 19% Hispanic students, 14% white students, 7% listed as multiracial or "other," and less than 1% of students listed as American Indian/Alaskan Native or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander in more than 330 schools. The district includes 151 elementary schools, 16 middle schools, 57 high schools, 84 charter schools, and 27 schools that provide alternative education. The school district also serves over 22,000 ELL students, who speak more than 70 languages. 

PhilWP and Philadelphia Schools

Between the years of 2011 and 2016, PhilWP had over 50,000 total contact hours with over 2,000 educators (some educators may have participated in more than one year) across the greater Philadelphia region. These educators have taken what they have learned and practiced with PhilWP back into their classrooms and schools. Over 100 Philadelphia area schools have participated with PhilWP.

Today there are more than 800 teachers who have become part of PhilWP, and many thousands who have benefitted from our professional development workshops and courses. There are multiples of thousands of children and youth whose life chances have been improved by having caring, thoughtful, and dedicated teachers invite them into the powerful worlds of writing, reading, and literacy. 

Making our Practice Public 

The Philadelphia Writing Project has a long tradition of taking our work public. Through a variety of media, we seek to share our inquiries, perspectives, and stories with a larger community. We believe the teacher’s voice must be included in decisions concerning the direction of our schools, and we invite you to read, listen, watch, and learn with us as we take our practice public. Read more PhilWP research and publications.