The Wayne County Board of Education were honored to recognize four Wayne County
High School students for their participation in a newly formed Peer Writing Tutoring resource
for their classmates.
Wayne County High School Teacher Jared Criswell is the founder of the Wayne County
Writing Center pilot project; which grew from his college experience working in a writing center
that later advanced into a detailed graduate project for a Technical Writing course.
Criswell explained that a writing center is a place where dedicated peer tutors –
students who have taken the hard English classes and demonstrated a proficiency with writing -
help their peers to resolve common writing problems and improve their written work. The
peers do not necessarily have to be struggling, but are able to get a “second set of eyes” on
their writing, regardless of achievement level.
Thankfully, Criswell was a writing tutor at Lindsey Wilson during his undergraduate
career, so Wayne County students will reap the rewards of that experience through this unique
opportunity he is overseeing. “No other schools around us have a resource like we’re
proposing,” explained Criswell.
Four student writing mentors – Maggie Stinson, Callista Mann, Shanna Rice, and Lauren
Hughes – have benefitted from Criswell’s experience. These students have taken the
hardest high school English classes and demonstrated a proficiency with writing. Not only has
their work helped fellow students, but it has also mutually helped them by improving their own
teaching and tutoring writing skills. They have skillfully staffed the center three periods a day.
“My proposal stipulated that we begin piloting this project by simply introducing the
concept of peer tutoring. Fittingly enough, the four young ladies who now serve as our first
writing tutors also served as reliable proofreaders as I drafted my original proposal,” noted
Criswell. “I trusted them every step of the way to find my minor errors, and I now trust them to
help their peers.”
Criswell has applied for a $10,000 NEA grant to outfit a permanent writing center to
help future classes in this unique endeavor.
Jared Criswell with his peer tutors
(L-R) Callista Mann, Lauren Hughes, Jared Criswell, and Shanna Rice (Not pictured Maggie Stinson)
Lauren Hughes receiving her certificate from Board of Ed. Chairperson Donna Blevins
Callista Mann receiving her certificate from Board of Ed. Chairperson Donna Blevins
Shanna Rice receiving her certificate from Board of Ed. Chairperson Donna Blevins
Students answered questions from the board members
Jared Criswell presenting information about the peer tutoring program and all the advantages it holds