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Press Release

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Florida Celebrates National Day of Writing
~ Gallery launched to highlight the importance of writing in our lives ~

TALLAHASSEE – The first official National Day of Writing is being celebrated today across Florida in an effort to educate the public about the importance of writing. To showcase this day, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) officially opened their “National Gallery of Writing,” which contains samples of writing from individuals throughout the nation. The submissions range from short stories and articles, to non-fiction work and research papers.

“I'm thrilled to join educators across the country today to celebrate the importance of writing and the impact it has throughout our lives,” said Commissioner of Education Dr. Eric J. Smith. “Effective communication through writing is vital to our student’s future success in higher education and in today’s global economy. I’m proud to support this innovative project.”

In recent years, students across Florida have increased their writing proficiency, showing better understanding of this important subject. Currently, a greater percentage of students are writing at or above grade level than ever before according to the 2009 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) Writing results. Additionally, the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Writing scores ranked the Sunshine State ninth in the nation for the percentage of students scoring at or above Proficient; two places higher than in 2002 and 16 places higher than in 1998.

The “National Gallery of Writing,” created as a free digital archive of samples that exhibit how and why Americans are writing every day, is accessible to everyone through a free, searchable Web site. All contributors are free to upload writing samples to the site, which is hosted by the NCTE. The gallery is intended to become an unmatched living archive of the art and importance of writing and the increasingly varied ways in which it is done and transmitted. Nearly 900 local galleries with more than 1,500 pieces have already been submitted. The galleries created represent big cities and small towns, colleges, schools at every grade level, and public libraries.

To find more specific information on National Day of Writing and how to create your own gallery, visit www.galleryofwriting.org.