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The registration deadline is Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 for the annual Fall Renewal Conference, hosted by the Spartanburg Writing Project (SWP) at the University of South Carolina Upstate. Registration forms are available at www.uscupstate.edu/swp or by e-mailing Tasha Thomas at tthomas@uscupstate.edu.

The event is open to all public and private school educators in the Upstate. However, seating is limited. The cost of registration is $45 per person. Discounts are available for groups of 20 or more.  All participants will be eligible for recertification credits.

The annual Fall Renewal Conference for educators will be held on Thursday, October 18 from 3 – 7 p.m. at the University Readiness Center on USC Upstate’s campus in Spartanburg. The conference is called “Authentic Reading, Writing and Research: Because Literacy is the Common Core” and it addresses the need to integrate reading and writing skills with the study of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

With the advent of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and in an effort to address college and career readiness, STEM subjects have recently become the mainstream focus of education in America.  Yet, as psychologists Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein argue, “writing, like any other art, teaches the entire range of tools for thinking that are required to be creative in any discipline.” The skills embodied in reading and writing are essential components for success in any field of study. Therefore, educators need to expand STEM into STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, arts, math), seamlessly integrating reading and writing into the study of science, technology, engineering and math.

With this in mind, the 2012 SWP Fall Renewal Conference will focus on implementing and assessing CCSS in English Language Arts across all disciplines. Featuring an expert panel discussion including representatives from the S.C. Department of Education along with 15 concurrent workshop sessions providing practical ideas for classroom application, this unique professional development event will help teachers achieve a better understanding of CCSS and provide them with tools and ideas for making the transition to CCSS more manageable.

For more information, contact Tasha Thomas, director of the Spartanburg Writing Project, at (864) 503-5653 or tthomas@uscupstate.edu.

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