The Writing Center prepares to open for the new school year

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Junior Jennifer Cheung and teacher sponsor Nikki Lehman discuss strategies for new tutors.

Sophie Chehab, Staff Writer

At some point in high school, everyone struggles with an assignment. Fortunately, the school offers multiple opportunities for students to get assistance. The Writing Center is a tool that students can utilize to help with writing assignments of any kind. Located in Room 206, the Writing Center was started by English teachers Danielle Hicks and Nikki Lehman in 2011. Students can visit during Charger Time or after school on Mondays to receive help from student tutors on any written assignment, including formal labs, essays, DBQs and college applications.

The Writing Center is staffed with student tutors who volunteer their time to both edit assignments and work with students to improve their writing. To become a tutor, a student must first be nominated by any of their teachers at the end of the school year. If the student is interested, he or she must then fill out an application and do an interview with the Writing Center’s teacher advisors.

The Writing Center has made significant progress since its opening.

“We have 37 student tutors this year, which is the most we’ve ever had,” Lehman, who teaches both AP Literature and Creative Writing, said. “Also, the name of the room was officially changed from the IMS Lab to the Writing Center.”

The Writing Center continues to benefit both student tutors and those seeking writing advice. While students are welcome to come in without any notice, appointments are preferred.

“We do have drop-in time, so the extra kids will get the help they need as long as there are enough tutors to support them,” Hicks said.

Senior Daniel Mitchell has been a student tutor for three years, and his favorite things to edit are science fair and analytical essays.

“I thought it’d be a good opportunity to help my peers with their writing and to better my own as well,” Mitchell said.

Many tutors feel the same way as Mitchell regarding their passion to help peers succeed.

“I jumped at the opportunity to improve my writing, and I have always loved helping my friends with their schoolwork,” junior Alayna Lee, who has been a tutor for the past two years, said.

Lee’s favorite memory is when her former English teacher recognized her writing strengths while reading the work of a student she’d helped.

“The Writing Center has opened my eyes to how much I enjoy helping others become better writers,” Lee said. “My favorite part is meeting new people  [who are being tutored] and seeing them extremely proud of the grade I helped them earn.”

Many students come and go to the Writing Center, but junior Fahed Omeish is a frequent visitor. Omeish remembers getting help with various assignments during his freshman year.

“The student tutors were very helpful and friendly,” Omeish said. “I liked that they gave me tips and tricks to remember for my next assignment.”

The Writing Center will officially open on Tuesday, Oct.18, but students have an opportunity to attend the open house on Friday, Oct. 14 . Also, student tutors will visit classrooms to raise awareness for the program. Students are encouraged to e-mail Lehman at NMLehman@fcps.edu or Hicks at DMHicks@fcps.edu with questions, or to make an appointment.