Saturday, September 26, 2015

The HWC is counting down to CAPTA 2015!

Happy new school year, Herndon! The HWC is preparing for our grand opening on Wednesday, October 7, 2015, with lots of tutor training activities. We are also counting down the days until 19 of our nearly 40 tutors attend the Capital Area Peer Tutoring Association's 2015 Conference, CAPTA Connects, on Friday October 2.The HWC is also very excited that our school principal, Mr. Bates, has been asked to sit on a panel of high school principals and discuss how to support and sustain high school writing centers. To say this year has been off to an exciting start would be an understatement!

9 of our veteran tutors will be presenting at CAPTA. Please read their abstracts below and wish them the best of luck next Friday! More detailed information about CAPTA Connects is available on the CAPTA website.

Tutoring the Tutor: Activities to Prepare First-Year Tutors
Marcus B. (Grade 11), Niki P. (Grade 12), and Patrick V. (Grade 11)
Herndon High School, Herndon, Virginia


In our presentation, we are looking to explore different in-class activities that can prepare new tutors for the writing center. Each of us will go into detail about one exercise that we thought have impacted us to better our tutoring and ourselves    personally. As second-year tutors, we’ve found that activities that incorporate creativity, focus, and interactivity gave us deeper insight into the field of peer tutoring. By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to take home these exercises and hopefully use them in their writing center’s tutoring preparation. [60 min] 

 Plot to Page and Back Again: Connecting Tutoring and Creative Writing
Sofia C. (Grade 11)
Herndon High School, Herndon, Virginia

 The audience will examine the link between tutoring and personal work, particularly creative writing, and a discuss how to strengthen that link. This presentation covers the benefits of working on personal projects, proposes curriculum in a class    format that promotes personal work, and helps tutors apply skills from tutoring to constructive self-criticism. Focus will be given to topics like structure and planning of potential projects and assignments. Participants will receive materials including an organizer for plotting use of tutoring techniques and suggestions for curriculum. The presentation will include advice on how individuals can begin and improve their own creative projects. [25 min]

Tossing the Salad: How a Mentorship Program Can Increase Diversity in the Writing Center
Jaiden C. (Grade 12)
Herndon High School, Herndon, Virginia 

In this presentation we will introduce a mentorship program that strives to incorporate a diverse and passionate group of tutors into the Writing Center. We will cover how and why diversity is of monumental importance in any writing center and how this program will help reflect the growing range of students and ideas that seem to bloom more beautifully each year. This program will help students of all English levels become a part of the Writing Center.  [25 min]

A Breath of Fresh Air: How Writing Center Atmospheres Create a Stronger Connection between Tutors and Tutees
Emma G. (Grade 12)
Herndon High School, Herndon, Virginia

The perfect writing center atmosphere will be defined through discussions with fellow tutors. Tutors will share what adds to their writing center atmosphere, and all will determine what it takes to achieve the best atmosphere for a writing center. A third year tutor will lead a conversation about the many aspects that the writing center must pay attention to in order to secure an inviting atmosphere. The attendees will leave feeling certain of what contributes to a writing center atmosphere and what they can do for their center to achieve a friendly and approachable writing center. [25 min] 

Creative Connections: A Club to Ignite Lifelong Writing Passion
Emily G. (Grade 11) and Lindsey R. (Grade 11)
Herndon High School, Herndon, Virginia

This presentation will examine the importance in connecting tutees to sustained creative writing interest. We will provide a model for a program where “unconnected” students are invited to develop their talent with the help highly qualified tutors. This way, students who love writing for pleasure can finally enter a warm, collaborative community of like-minded peers, and focus solely on creative pieces rather than academic ones. By offering an in-depth explanation of the program and how to best implement it, along with demonstrating the creative nature of our monthly meetings with an example writing prompt, we will thoroughly describe how to establish this creative connection. [60 min] 

Stretching to the Greatest Lengths
Jessie W. (Grade 11)
Herndon High School, Herndon, Virginia

Tutors may be looking for solutions to common problems in the Writing Center, focusing on growing the number of tutees who come on their own. Tutors join the Writing Center for the love of writing and their confidence in the abilities they possess. If these tutors are left to tutor once every couple of weeks, the reasoning for joining the Writing Center is lost. Creating a Writing Center that can grow in the number tutees served while growing in tutors is the ultimate goal in any tutoring environment. Participants will receive ideas for monthly activities and ideas for how to set up tutoring in the cafeteria and the library. Participants will also have the chance to discuss the ways they have accommodated a growing population of tutors in their school. [10 min]

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