(Transcript of presentation speech by Robert Brooke, NeWP Director)
We recognize Kim Larson’s support for the Nebraska Writing Project through her work for the State Department of Education. Kim has promoted NeWP in her many contacts with state principals, ESU staff development officials, and teachers. This year, she was selected to represent our state in the National Writing Project’s Vignette Program, gathering written testimonies from NWP teachers who have progressed to major leadership positions in the state.
Kim Larson (photo left) was nominated for the 2007 Administrator Recognition Award by Co-Director Kim Ridder (photo right). Co-Director Ridder remembers participating in her first NeWP Summer Institute alongside Kim Larson: “In 1995, Kim and I, teaching partners and best friends, stepped into the classroom at Andrews Hall together, sure that no matter what, we would never write a poem! Well, Kim did write a poem that summer, and, in fact, she’s written a lot of poems. Kim has written poetry in her classroom with her first and second graders. She has also crafted poems as gifts for her family. She even wrote haiku to commemorate a trip we took together.” Many of us have worked with Kim Larson since 1995, and know how her love of writing continues to energize the programs she directs. While still teaching, she participated in our After School Writing Circles teacher research project sponsored by the Spencer Foundation. More recently, through her work as Reading/Writing Coordinator at the State Department of Education, she has sponsored partnerships between NeWP teachers and the SDE, designed online curriculum development programs that adapt the NeWP model to new contexts, and has featured our Celebrating Rural Poetry student writers in displays at the State Office Building. In the conclusion of her vignette for the National Writing Project study (currently featured on our website), Kim writes of interweaving her NeWP background with her current work. We hope she’ll continue to interweave her work with us, and we thank her for support.