News Release

Registration Opens for Summer Teachers Writing Workshop at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument

Writer Workshop participant writing in the great outdoors.
Teacher Writing Workshop participant writing in the great outdoors.

photo courtesy of Diana Weis

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News Release Date: March 25, 2018

Contact: Alvis Mar, 308-665-4110

Registration Opens for Summer Teachers Writing Workshop at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument

Registration is now open for the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument Teachers Writing Workshop and Writing Marathon this summer, July 16 – 18, 2018.  “Exploring the Women of the West: Strength in the Nebraska Panhandle” marks the third year the Monument is collaborating with the Nebraska Writing Project to offer teachers of all disciplines and grade levels the opportunity to learn new strategies to integrate science, language arts, and social studies with writing. Workshop participants will not only delve into the many resources of Agate Fossil Beds, but also at select sites on the Pine Ridge Reservation and at Fort Robinson State Park. Workshop registration closes on June 30th.

Facilitators from the Nebraska Writing Project and the National Park Service will lead teacher participants in place-based writing exercises, readings, and discussions.  In “Exploring the Women of the West: Strength in the Nebraska Panhandle,” participants will be immersed in the history of Agate through the eyes of women in the late 1800-1900s. Participants will explore paleontology from women’s perspectives—both historic and modern; discover the voice of an African American woman in the Nebraska Panhandle in the 1880s; learn from Lakota women and their art; and consider the contributions of the women of the Agate Springs Ranch, the land from which this national park unit originated.

“By examining, reflecting upon and analyzing through writing the contributions of the uncelebrated—yet phenomenal—women of this remarkable landscape, teachers can create learning opportunities for their students that will lead them to better understand the factors that have molded our nation’s collective heritage,” says Superintendent James Hill. “What better place than a national park--like Agate Fossil Beds National Monument-- to find those lessons and revelations?”

Past participants have come from every corner of Nebraska for this opportunity to network and share their ideas about cross-curricular writing. All have left with a rich sense of writing through place, science and history.

Each teacher will receive a certificate of completion of 24 professional development hours for the three day workshop as well as the option for additional staff development opportunities through the Nebraska Writing Project.   

The Nebraska Writing Project, a network of professional educators and affiliated writers, provides opportunities to improve, enhance, and celebrate writing for classrooms and communities across Nebraska. The Project is directed by Dr. Robert Brooke of the English Department at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. For more information about the Nebraska Writing Project, go to

Details and registration can be found at You can also contact Park Ranger Alvis Mar, (308) 665-4110,, for more information.

Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is located only 34 miles north of Mitchell, Nebraska or 22 miles south of Harrison, Nebraska on Highway 29 and three miles east on River Road. The visitor center hours are 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the winter, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the summer, and trails are open from dawn till dusk. Admission to Agate Fossil Beds is free.


Last updated: March 25, 2018

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Harrison, NE 69346


(308) 665-4113

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