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Red River Valley Writing Project teacher featured on national podcast

Red River Valley Writing Project consultant and Fargo teacher Caitlin Johnson will be featured on The Write Time podcast with award-winning author Joseph Bruchac at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 10, on Facebook. A production of the National Writing Project, the show pairs incredible educators with outstanding children’s and young adult authors.

Johnson earned a doctoral degree in adult and occupational education from NDSU this spring.

“This show is extra special,” said Kelly Sassi, director of the Red River Valley Writing Project. “Caitlin has been an important teacher consultant in our writing project site, from her first summer institute to working as a research assistant at Circle of Nations school, to taking the lead on implementing C3WP when she taught on her home reservation of Turtle Mountain. She has taught numerous Bruchac books in her classrooms, and I knew she was the right teacher to do this interview for the National Writing Project.”

The podcast and live Facebook event will focus on Bruchac’s book “Rez Dogs.” The book is a tale of friendship between Malian, a young girl sent to live with her grandparents on the reservation during the pandemic, and a wolf-like dog. Told in verse and covering topics from online school to traditional activities with grandparents, this compassionate story helps both Native and non-Native students process what the past year has been like, while gaining empathy and cross-cultural understanding.

Bruchac has written more than 120 books for children and adults. As a proud Nulhegan Abenaki citizen and respected elder among his people, he creates music and literature reflective of his Indigenous heritage and traditions. His best-selling, critically acclaimed Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children series integrates science and folklore. 

He was awarded the Knickerbocker Award for Juvenile Literature by the New York Library Association in 1996. The award recognizes New York State authors who demonstrate, through a body of work, a consistently superior quality which supports the curriculum and the educational goals of New York State School. Bruchac's 2004 work, Jim Thorpe's Bright Path, won the Carter G. Woodson Book Award in 2005.

The Red River Valley Writing Project, located at NDSU, supports teachers from kindergarten through college in improving the teaching of writing. They run programs for teachers in support of literacy, writing instruction and teacher leadership.

After its initial airing, The Write Time with Bruchac and Johnson will be housed on the National Writing Project website.

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Last Updated: Thursday, January 27, 2022 3:57:06 PM
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