Wayne County High School English teacher, Jared Criswell, has launched a new program for the students. A peer tutor writing program was implemented in the library during first, fourth, and sixth period. This student-led tutoring serves to help other students get answers and reviews on their writing. Currently four tutors are part of the program.
Overall, this year’s tutoring program is the first step to the school’s plans for the future. This will get students accustomed to seeking out their peers for help, which will make things easier as the school furthers the program. The goal is to have a stable peer writing center next year, with its own classroom and student coverage every period. To be chosen for the program, students seeking to be tutors must have already shown competency in writing.
Students will be able to ask questions about their writing they didn’t get to before. Many students avoid asking these questions as they do not feel comfortable taking it directly to the teacher. The writing center will offer a more comfortable environment for these students to seek the help they need. Not only do those seeking help benefit, but the mentors are also forced to learn. If one cannot answer a student’s question, the question will have to be researched, leading to both students learning something. As a result, both students will become better writers with more refined skills.
The four students currently involved in the program are all seniors: Lauren Hughes, Shanna Rice, Callista Mann, and Maggie Stinson. Maggie Stinson has taken Honors English III and has shown excellence in her writing. Maggie has been accepted into the University of Kentucky and plans to pursue a career in journalism. Maggie wanted to do the program because she’d always loved to write. “When I was an underclassman I could have used a lot of help. I think it’s very beneficial.” Her first “student,” Ethan Huffaker, also found the program beneficial.
“It was nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of and help with my process,” he said. He had come to the center to seek help for his two upcoming papers.
Callista Mann, another tutor, had taken several English classes in the past and is now taking AP Language and Composition. She is also taking Creative Writing, an elective offered to students that is taken on a semester basis, partnering with Horror Fiction. Callista is attending Lindsey Wilson College after graduation and plans to become an English professor. “It feels good to help people improve in their writing,” Callista said about the program.
Shanna Rice plans to attend EKU and become an English teacher. “I absolutely love writing – I’m also always looking to help other students,” she said. Shanna said that the inspiration for becoming one of the tutors came from Jeremy Barnett’s Honors English III class. Shanna took the class last year, and said it really sealed the deal for her on her love for English and writing.
Lauren Hughes plans to attend the University of Kentucky. Lauren had always loved writing but taking Jared Criswell’s Honors English III class shaped her desire to help other students with their writing. She is now taking the AP Language and Composition class, along with her fellow tutors. If the students score above a three on the AP test, the course will count as English 101 and English 102 credits. “Students may not feel comfortable talking to teachers,” she said about the tutoring program. “They’re more likely to talk to someone like us – someone who is just a kid, like them.”
The writing program can be found inside the library during first, fourth, and sixth period. Any of the four student tutors will be happy to assist peers seeking help with their writing assignments.
Student mentor and WCHS senior Maggie Stinson (right) assisting sophomore Ethan Huffaker with his writing
The 2018-2019 Student Mentors (l-r) Callista Mann, Shanna Rice, Lauren Hughes, and Maggie Stinson