Just received this…

Cambium Learning® Technologies and The Max Warburg Courage Curriculum©, Inc. have teamed up to deliver an exciting pilot collaboration for the 2008-2009 academic year. The MWCC and Kurzweil Educational Systems, a division of Cambium Learning Technologies® are teaming up to encourage teachers across the country to engage middle school students in writing about courage.

The goal of this collaboration is to 1) encourage the integration of technology in student writing, 2) increase students’ writing capabilities, and 3) foster teacher interest in The Max Warburg Courage Curriculum, a nationally recognized Boston-based year-long language arts program dedicated to strengthening the character development and literacy skills of students.

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From their press release:

The Max Warburg Courage Curriculum and Cambium Learning® Technologies Team Up to Encourage Teachers Across the Country To Engage Middle School Students in Writing About Courage
Boston, MA

The Max Warburg Courage Curriculum, Inc.© (Boston, MA) and Cambium Learning ® Technologies (Bedford, MA) have teamed up in an exciting collaboration to create an on-line library of student essays on the topic of courage and to help increase students’ writing capabilities nationwide. The Courage Essay Library will be available beginning October 13 and contains more than 150 previously published winning essays on the topic of
“The Courage in My Life” written by sixth grade authors participating in the Max Warburg Courage Curriculum (www.maxcourage.org).

The Max Warburg Courage Curriculum is a globally acclaimed year-long language arts program in residence at Northeastern University that targets sixth and ninth grade students and honors the life of Max Warburg, a courageous 11 year old who died of leukemia in 1991. The Curriculum is also a founding partner in the Stony Brook Initiative, a unique and evolving community partnership among Northeastern University and its neighbors in Roxbury, Mission Hill, the Fenway, and the South End. Nearly 100% of Boston Public School sixth grade
classrooms participate in the Curriculum, and the ninth grade program (initiated in 2006) continues to expand each year.

Inspired by Max’s story, participants write personal essays that celebrate acts of moral courage in their own lives, in the lives of those around them, and in their communities. The program assists students to connect to literature and is dedicated to strengthening character development and literacy skills. Written into the Massachusetts state learning standards for literacy, the Curriculum has positively impacted the lives of more than 75,000 students since its inception. A sample teacher’s guide will also be available.

As a result of this collaboration and with guidance from the Curriculum, Cambium has developed a national essay competition for middle school students on the topic “The Courage in My Community.” This competition is designed to engage middle school students in a deeper understanding of the concept of courage in their community and to integrate the use of technology in the writing process with the recently released Kurzweil 3000-Windows Version 11software, a suite of tools designed to assist the most at-risk student populations in
meeting the academic challenges of reading, writing, and higher order thinking.

The competition will open at: http://www.courageinmycommunity.com, on October 13, 2008. Schools can start uploading essay submissions from January 1-February 15, 2009. A panel of judges coordinated across the country will review each essay and select up to twenty-five (25) winning essays as semi-finalists to be judged in a final event by authors, members of the community, journalists, and educators in Boston, Massachusetts on March 5, 2009. The final judging will coincide with the annual Max Warburg Courage Curriculum “Courage in My Life” Essay Judging and will include judges from this program.

One winner will be announced in late March and honored in his/her home community at a luncheon and press conference on a date to be determined. The winning participant’s school will receive a Kurzweil 3000 Site License with a full-day implementation workshop, in addition to one half day of professional development training in the Max Warburg Courage Curriculum with program founder Stephanie Warburg and program director Elizabeth Evans, along with a complete set of curriculum books, the teacher’s guide, and a video.

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