Woodgrove Writing Center is Open for Business


Writing Center Student Tutors at the CAPTA Conference (left to right) Maddy Barona, Raven Case, Olivia Haller, Audrey Dimitrew, & Kelly Keane. Not pictured – Kathryn Brewster Photo by Mrs. Harar

Written by Jennifer Glazebrook and Brittany Nelson

The Woodgrove English department has established a writing center that is currently available to all students.  Mrs. Bethany Harar leads the class of six student tutors who have been specially trained to guide fellow students to improvements in their writing.

The writing center offers students one-on-one help. Tutors provide feedback on students’ work by following teachers’ rubrics and by offering tips to improve overall writing skills. They also provide advice on how to write in differing formats for science projects, history projects, and English projects. Tutors are also able to address questions that are individual to a student’s specific assignment.

Senior Kelly Keane currently serves as a writing tutor, and she feels that the center provides an important resource for students.

“Students are able to interact with other students. It’s not as much as a ‘teacher in a suit’ role, but it’s more level ground, which I think makes the situation much more comfortable for everyone,” she said.

Woodgrove writing tutors were selected based on recommendations from their English teachers, and Mrs. Harar meets with the group once a week to work on their own writing and editing skills.  The group has also worked on marketing projects by creating advertisements to get other students excited about writing.

In addition to being trained by Mrs. Harar, the writing center tutors also had the opportunity to attend the Capital Area Peer Tutoring Association conference at George Mason University’s Arlington campus. Over eight states on the East Coast were represented, with over 450 students in attendance.  Teachers and tutors participated in various sessions, many of which were student-led.

Mrs. Harar transferred to Woodgrove High School this year from Fairfax County, where she also helped run a writing center.

“The writing center, still being new to Woodgrove, has less students visiting now than it did when I was teaching in Fairfax. It did take a few years to get a steady group of students coming in for help, but over time they saw the benefits and visited the center on a regular basis. Most English teachers in Fairfax required their students to come into the writing center to work on projects, or they offered extra credit for students who visited the center,” said Mrs. Harar.

Tutors hope to see the Woodgrove Writing Center become as much of an asset to students as it is in Fairfax.  The staff is available and willing to help.

Writing center tutor Mady Barona said, “We are willing to look over any assignment and hope to open the eyes of students to the beauty of writing. “

Specific help is available Monday and Tuesday on lunch shifts one, three, and four; Wednesday lunch shifts two, three, and four, and also during every Den-time. Students may sign up for tutoring sessions by using the Google Classroom link http://tinyurl.com/wolverinewritingcenter.  The link is also posted on the board outside of lab 601 and throughout the school.

The center is open during Den-time in Lab 400 and during B-day lunch period in lab 601.  You may also contact the tutors at [email protected]