Writing Lab Outreach Project
c/o Nickola Nelson

1903 W. Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5355

(269) 387-7990

Welcome to the WLOP web site!

Photo: Students in a classroom.Welcome to the source for information about the Writing Lab Outreach Project and related activities aimed at promoting language and literacy development for children with and without special needs.


The Writing Lab Outreach Project was funded from September 1998 through August 2003 by Grant No. H324R980120 from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Although the official outreach project ended then, the work in developing and disseminating the Writing Lab Approach to language instruction and intervention has continued. It Textbook image: Writing Lab Approach to Language Instruction and Intervention.culminated in the publication of a book, The Writing Lab Approach to Language Instruction and Intervention, in 2004, and has continued in presentations, research, and clinical publications into the present.

The original Writing Lab Outreach Project was conducted in partnership with Kalamazoo Public Schools. Its dual purposes were: (1) to develop the Writing Lab Approach in collaboration with general and special education teachers and (2) to educate other teams of general and special educators and speech-language pathologists in implementing the approach. The first purpose was pursued in the context of collaborative writing labs. These were set up 3 days per week during each of 4 school-years of the project. We collaborated with teachers and students in Milwood Elementary, the Washington Writers’ Academy, and Spring Valley Center for Exploration. The second purpose was addressed in 2-week intensive Summer Institutes. Participants came in teams from around the country to learn about the writing lab approach and to practice implementing it in summer sessions co-sponsored by the Kalamazoo Public Schools. Teams came to the WLOP Summer Institute from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Texas.


Final report of grant activity

Download the Final Report for the Writing Lab Outreach Project here. PDF.

Components of Project  

Local Outreach Schools

Photo: Local outreach schools.Each year, one elementary school in Kalamazoo was selected to serve as a local outreach site. Educators and project staff worked together to implement inclusive computer-supported writing process instruction with students in grades 1-3 throughout the school year.  

Local outreach schools: 

Development Teams

In each local outreach school, a development team consisting of general educators, special educators, speech-language specialists, computer lab coordinators, and project staff meets regularly to plan and implement inclusive, computer-supported writing process instruction. The development team constituted a learning community that discussed best ways to implement inclusive, computer-supported writing process instruction, develop curricula, and plan and implement classroom- and computer-based writing lab activities.

Summer Institute and Regional Outreach Teams

Photo:Minilesson by Summer Institute Participants.Each year, up to 10 two-member regional outreach teams, comprising one special educator and one general educator, participated in the Computer-Supported Writing Process Summer Institute. During the institute, regional outreach teams assisted in conducting inclusive, computer-supported writing process instruction for students enrolled in summer school. They also participated in seminar activities and developed plans to implement the Writing Lab Model in their own schools. These activities are described on the Activities page.