Dave Marks, the founder of National Writing Institute and the author of the Writing Strands and Reading Strands series of books, graduated from Western Michigan University. He then received a Masters of Arts degree from Central Michigan University and did 45 more hours of graduate work in English at Eastern Michigan University and Michigan State University. Dave retired after 30 years of teaching writing in college, high school, junior high and grade school.
When their son was in the fourth grade, Dave and his wife Lea realized that he was not being given the training they felt he needed and elected to homeschool him in language arts. To prepare him for college writing, they designed a series of lessons, which he completed by the age of twelve. That summer, they enrolled him in freshman English at Lake Michigan College, where he received his first A in college work. He is now a poet and university professor.
Dave and Lea later turned these lessons into the Writing Strands series of books. While Dave never maintained that the series could create poets for other homeschooling parents, he felt that if children worked successfully through the Writing Strands series of books, they would have the skills needed for the challenge of any writing assignment in their undergraduate college work.