The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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A look into JR and UDC’s new Writing Center

The English department at Jackson-Reed has established a new Writing Center that provides tutoring services for struggling students in English classes. This new initiative is spearheaded by students from the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) for their senior capstone.

In September, UDC English professor Helene Krauthamer reached out to the school to coordinate a tutoring program for the school’s senior capstones, which focuses on providing a service to the community. 11th grade Assistant Principal Marc Minsker approved the program, noting that it helped the school at no expense while also building a relationship with UDC. Krauthamar has helped recruit tutors for the program, which is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays every week after school in room 311.

Despite efforts from Minsker and Krauthamar, the program is incredibly short-staffed and observing little participation. Although 5 UDC students signed up, only two underwent the DCPS background check required to volunteer in a school. No one else is present in the tutoring center, and the program functions without any volunteers from the National Honor Society (NHS).

This makes the Writing Center stand out from the other tutoring centers for math, science, and history. All of those work with teachers and/or tutors from the NHS, which helps to have more consistent staffing. Many tutors for other centers come from the NHS due to the requirement for 25 hours of community service each year.

Minsker hopes to work with the NHS to bring in more tutors. He hopes that these new tutors will be able to provide more services for the Writing Center.

Minsker’s objective is to have the Writing Center open 3 days a week. Currently, the center is only open one day each week, but he hopes that with greater staff the center will be open for longer periods of time.

As the center is part of a capstone project, the university students have also played a key role. They have been working to publicize the Writing Center and recruit tutors from UDC. 

Student turnout has been low, but Minsker and Krauthamer hope that engagement will be built as awareness increases and more tutors become available. As of now, they are working on establishing it so that more students can come.

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Cole Zich, Written Content Editor
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