Student Tutors Visit the Middle School

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Student Tutors Visit the Middle School

Writing center tutors Emma Kaisla '15 and Noah Jackson '15 visiting the Middle School in December.

Writing center tutors Emma Kaisla '15 and Noah Jackson '15 visiting the Middle School in December.

Cameron Hill '15

Writing center tutors Emma Kaisla '15 and Noah Jackson '15 visiting the Middle School in December.

Cameron Hill '15

Cameron Hill '15

Writing center tutors Emma Kaisla '15 and Noah Jackson '15 visiting the Middle School in December.

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This trimester, both Arete and the Writing Center have begun to send student tutors to the Middle School during their study hall at the end of the day.

Arete will send student tutors on Mondays and Thursdays and Writing Center tutors will visit the Middle School on Tuesdays.

“Every year I try to add something different to the Writing Center,” Director of the Writing Center, Ms. Sarah Sawyer, says. “In the beginning of the year, I asked the Writing Center tutors what thoughts they had and one that came out was the idea of working with the middle schoolers,” she continues.

The Writing Center has never before been an easily accessible resource to Middle School students, as it is only open during the school day and during study hall, when most Middle School students are not near the Upper School library.

Arete, on the other hand, has interacted in the past with the Middle School, but not, in such a “regular or official” way, as Arete advisor Ms. Karen Ram says. In past years, Arete tutors have helped Middle School students with their science fair projects and through appointments, usually set by their advisors or parents.

Both Ms. Ram and Ms. Sawyer are hoping that the programs will strengthen the ties between the two schools.

“My hope is that we do a better job of connecting older students to younger students. I think that’s a sign of a healthy school when younger students know and admire older students; it creates a better community,” Ms. Sawyer says.

During most of the day, Middle School students and Upper School students generally have few interactions with each other than within sports and a few Upper School classes that Middle School students can take.

“It’s important to let Middle School kids know who they can get help from when they get to the Upper School. It’s important that they know how to do it and that they aren’t afraid to do it,” Ms. Ram says.

One of the major goals of both student tutoring programs is to teach students not to be afraid to ask for help.

“I hope that this program will instill in the younger students this idea that you can reach out to peers for help,” Ms. Ram says.

Ms. Sawyer explains that the Middle School extension of the Writing Center, called by students “The Pop-Up Writing Center,” holds the same main goal as the Upper School Writing Center. She says, “The goal is to help growing writers understand that it is important to seek help and to accept it and know that that doesn’t have to be something that feels horrible.”

Loren Po ’15, both an Arete and Writing Center tutor says, “I think it’s going to be great for the middle schoolers once it gets going. It will give them the chance to integrate with the Upper School while also helping with their school work.”

The two tutoring programs are already well underway and will hopefully be a valuable resource for Middle School students.