FLIC’s newest pilot program for 2013 is our first writing group. Since the reading/writing connection is integral in improving literacy and writing skills, we decided to offer a program to our youth that embraces writing. The group is made of preteen learners, most of whom are also preteen tutors, allowing the students to bring their improved writing skills into their own tutoring. In their weekly meetings, the students work on both individual and collaborative writing projects that have already spanned from short fiction stories to poetry. The group’s goal is to contribute to our Project READ blog as “youth correspondents.” To prepare for this role, the writing group has already begun practicing the art of interviewing. The writing group meets weekly for over an hour, focusing on a new genre or style of writing each session.
Additionally, the learners are encouraged to bring in their own writing assignments from school to peer review. Within FLIC, an entire bulletin board has been dedicated to their work, and each session they add to it with finished products. In addition to writing, proofreading and improving their literacy skills, the tweens have also started presenting their works to FLIC families, learners and tutors, honing their public speaking and presentation skills. Within the very first session, it was obvious that these students’ confidences in themselves have already grown and the friendship between these leaners blossomed into true camaraderie. The community tutor who facilitates this writing group was impressed with the sense of community the students formed, as well as the positive affect peer-review and group work has on these teens. erowHer
Her own youth learner is part of this writing group and often struggles with prioritizing homework and studying. Now that she is around peers who not only encourage, but also support her to tackle even the most daunting subjects, she has a renewed sense of determination to complete her tasks in order to get to more writing and time with her friends as FLIC. It is amazing to see what a positive effect youth have on each other. Project READ’s writing group’s curriculum is created by staff and led by a trained Project READ tutor.