Community-Based Learning

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April Showers Bring Blossoming Writing Mentors!

Apr 27, 2012 by Ariel Lantz

As we mentioned in our last post, South Hadley High School
mentors-in-training have officially become full fledged mentors. As
their last assignment, we asked them to write and present speeches on
their philosophy of peer mentoring. We were so impressed! Our students
really stepped up and displayed their creativity and new found love for
mentoring. Their topics included: the pros and cons of different
mentoring styles; how teaching writing through peer mentoring is
analogous to learning how to cook; the first time they mentored in a
class; and how learning to mentor is like learning to play the piano!
Seriously- how cool are our students? We cannot stress how proud of all
their hard work we are!  They will now continue to work in the writing
center until the end of the year, well past when we leave, and will
allow the writing center to remain open every day, four blocks a day,
until school ends in June!

Our mentors are so excited to finally be in the Writing Center! Here they are enjoying the Center:

Mentors smiling in the center!

Since South Hadley mentors are now in the Writing Center every day of
the school week, we have had time to present writing skills workshops.
Our workshop on the SAT has proved very exciting for junior classes and
illuminating for sophomore classes. In part of the workshop, we time
students to show them what writing under pressure is like. Students seem
to learn a lot from this activity, and so do we- we completely forgot
how stressful it can be to study for the SAT! Luckily, we truly believe
the workshop we have been presenting will encourage students to conquer
this project head on.

The other workshop we have been presenting in the last few weeks is on
creating a thesis. This is a great workshop to present in all grades of
the high school, as theses are at the core of most academic writing. It
has been especially interesting to note how students view theses.
Apparently, a thesis is both “the first sentence of your paper” as well
as “the last sentence of your introduction.” We are confident, however,
that regardless of where they place their thesis statement, after our
workshop students are sure a thesis is a summary of their main argument,
which is opinion (not fact!) based.

    We have to give a shout-out to our AWESOME volunteers from the SAW
program.  Emily O., Lauren A., Gabriella C., and Imane T. have been
devoting their time every week to volunteer in the writing center at the
high school.  They have been an important part of increasing Mount
Holyoke students’ presence in the high school, and we have relied on
their expertise in the realm of peer mentoring to support our students,
mentor them, and be mentored by them!  We loving having fellow MHC
students with us in the high school because it helps build a community
of cross-over between MHC and SHHS. Now that the high school mentors
have taken over operations in the writing center, and it is the last
week of classes at MHC, they will end their volunteering at the high
school.  However, we hope they will continue to participate in this
program next year!


Since we are so proud of our high school mentors, here is another pictures of them diligently working in the Writing Center!

Students working in the ceter



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