FROM STAFF REPORTS
Aurora -- Writing tutorial services are now available to Aurora High School students in partnership with Kent State University's Education Department.
Six KSU junior English majors who are pursuing secondary teaching certificates are providing tutoring three days a week. Students with writing projects from any academic discipline can visit the writing center during their lunch/study periods.
The center is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays during fourth to sixth periods from 10:20 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.
The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Minding the Gap program in cooperation with KSU's Education Department and Writing Center.
"The goal of the tutoring process is to produce better writers, not just better writing," said Gerald Kohanski, Aurora Board of Education president and director of the AHS Writing Center. "The tutors are coaches and collaborators, not teachers; they don't grade, proofread, edit or write papers for students.
"Rather, they help students find useful resources, brainstorm and understand assignments, and develop a focus and supporting details for their projects. They also help AHS students organize ideas, proofread and learn to understand grammar and punctuation. The program's motto is 'Write more, worry less.'"
Another key aspect of the process is that tutorials are offered in a one-on-one setting. Some AHS students may seek help on their own, while others visit based on the recommendation of their teachers.
"WRITING IS AN essential life skill; having the opportunity for our students to develop as writers through the Writing Center is an invaluable experience," said AHS English teacher Melissa Lindley. "When a student can receive direct, personal feedback and guidance on writing, it contributes to that writer's growth and confidence.
"Students are encouraged to experiment in the writing center because learning to write involves practice, risk taking, and revising. Thus, the writing center is set up to be an informal place where ideas can be tried out verbally or in writing."
"I was very excited when Jeanne Smith from Kent State approached us about creating a writing center manned by KSU students," said Aurora High School Principal Mike Roberto.
"Obviously, the Kent State students are familiar with the college writing process and expectations, so they can serve as a great support for what our students are learning and re-enforcement for what the teachers are presenting.
"Together KSU and AHS can provide an opportunity for the high school students to become better writers in all areas and as a result continue to work their way toward being college and career ready upon graduation."
Kohanski concluded by saying, "In my 40-plus year business career, I always found that the more effectively a person can communicate, the more productive and successful they are in their career. This program will benefit our students now, in college,and far beyond their academic careers."