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Building a Culture of Writing: Strategies for Implementing a Student-Focused Writing Curriculum

Wednesday, September 15, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT

Building a Culture of Writing: Strategies for Implementing a Student-Focused Writing Curriculum

Presented by Valerie Bolling, Instructional Coach and Author, Greenwich Public Schools (CT); and Brittany Kosumsuriya, Secondary ELA Facilitator, Grand Prairie Independent School District (TX)
Moderated by Whitney Young, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Watch the Recording

Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation. Get a CE Certificate for this edWebinar Learn more.

After a year of distance, writing this school year is more important than ever! Whether your students are writing to meet state standards or to connect to their texts, writing has the unique power to bring togetherness. In this edWebinar, we will help you seize this moment to build a culture of writing in your schools.

In this session, hear from district leaders on the importance of the reading and writing connection in cultivating a writing culture, evaluating your writing curriculum, and setting learning goals. They also share manageable strategies to plan for back to school, including implementing a writing curriculum, customizing the curriculum to meet your students’ needs, and establishing a strong teacher/administrator partnership for student success.

This recorded edWebinar will be of interest to upper elementary, middle, and high school teachers, school and district leaders, coaches, curriculum coordinators, developers, and directors, technology coordinators and directors, and ELA department heads.


Valerie BollingAbout the Presenters

Valerie Bolling has been an educator for 28 years and is currently an instructional coach for Greenwich Public Schools in Greenwich, Connecticut and is on the faculty at Westport Writers’ Workshop in Westport, Connecticut. When she’s not collaborating with teachers, she writes picture books. Her debut picture book, LET’S DANCE!, was published in March 2020 and won SCBWI’s Crystal Kite Award in 2021. She has two books scheduled for release in 2022 (TOGETHER WE RIDE and CITY FUN), five more slated for 2023, and one for 2024. Valerie and her husband live in Stamford, Connecticut and enjoy traveling, hiking, reading, going to the theater, and dancing. Learn more about Valerie on her website.


Brittany KosumsuriyaBrittany Kosumsuriya is currently serving as the secondary English language arts facilitator for Grand Prairie ISD. She served as a secondary English language arts district strategist for three years and prior to that, was a freshman English teacher at South Grand Prairie 9th Grade Center where she taught advanced English I, English I inclusion, and English I. Brittany graduated from The University of Texas at Arlington with a bachelor’s degree in political science and organizational communication. She then completed a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies for higher education at UTA. As a district leader, Brittany has presented on various pedagogical topics such as blended learning, small group instruction, effective planning in PLCs, using data to drive instruction, and various ELA content topics.


Whitney YoungAbout the Moderator

Whitney Young serves as Senior Product Marketing Manager for secondary ELA programs at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Within this role, she supports the product marketing initiatives for HMH Into Literature. Whitney has served as a middle school, high school, and college educator in Memphis, TN. She holds a Master of Science in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Memphis and a Bachelor of Arts in English education and African American studies from Lake Forest College.


To participate in the live edWebinar, log in with current version of Google Chrome or install the meeting app prior to the edWebinar on your computer, your Apple device, or Android device.  If you have a firewall in your location, you can participate on your mobile device using your cellular data (not your local network).

The edWebinar recording will be posted to this page the day after the presentation. Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation.

Join the ELA Today community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.


HMH® brings together on-demand professional development, students’ assessment data, and relevant practice and instruction, so you can teach, learn, and grow, in class, at home, and anywhere in between. HMH® is committed to providing proven-effective solutions designed to engage, empower, and address the individual needs of students from Pre-K through Grade 12.



Wednesday, September 15, 2021
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT
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