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A student-led writing center to open this spring

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After attending the 2016 Capital Area Peer Tutoring Association (CAPTA) Conference last month, several students from Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Dumfries are eager to launch a student-led writing center.


Selected by their teachers, the students participated in the conference held at George Mason University in Fairfax, and learned the benefits of establishing a peer-to-peer writing center, as well as the innovative techniques and ideas required to build and sustain the program. Senior Katie Yates said the writing center "will be a place where students can learn in a comfortable and interactive environment outside the classroom, which will help creativity to blossom and minds to grow.”


Anna Foster, an English teacher and writing-center moderator, also recognized the benefits a writing center would bring to the growing school community. “Whether in the planning or revision stages of an assignment, writing centers provide support throughout all phases of the writing process and provide a space for students to think through their papers with other peers. As a result, not only do writing centers nurture better student writing, but perhaps just as importantly, they foster student leadership,” she said. 


Foster and the student-tutors participated in four student-led seminars throughout the daylong conference, and learned the basics of tutoring within a writing center and the importance of establishing a student-driven atmosphere within the one-on-one tutoring sessions.


Following the conference, the student-tutors agreed that both the tutor and the students they assist engage in a process from which both parties benefit. The students who need assistance drive the learning during their sessions.


Intended for writers of all levels, the center will be implemented in spring 2017 and will likely be open during lunch periods and after school. The goal is to grow the program and to create an elective course that would help maintain the writing center and train future tutors.  






© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016