501 3c Organization

Riverwood International Charter School Writing Center Creatively Supports all Students

Unique to Riverwood and established in 2015, the student-led Raider Writing Center provides peer tutoring for writing assignments across the entire curriculum. Juniors and seniors, recommended by their English teachers, undergo an extensive application and training process before joining the tutoring staff. At this time, the Raider Writing Center is the only one of its kind operating in Fulton County Schools and receives support from a partnership with Kennesaw State University (KSU). KSU hosts the training sessions each fall using the Bedford Guide for Writing. In all, the Raider Writing Center has 24 trained tutors this year, 8 of whom are veterans and 16 in their first year.

Language Arts teacher Christy Toledano created, and continues to lead, the Writing Center. In its inaugural year, the Center held more than 1,000 tutoring sessions. With more and more teachers and students beginning to appreciate the benefits of the peer tutoring, the Center conducted more than 1,300 sessions last year. Building on this growth, the Center is already on target to exceed these numbers yet again in the 2017-18 school year. The Center is open every school day during lunch as well as every Wednesday morning before school. All students are welcome to drop in for help with assignments in any subject, and they can even eat their lunch while attending mid-day sessions.

In addition to providing daily one-on-one assistance, the Writing Center also hosts creative monthly events to reach out to the student body. During fall semester 2017, they had a Poetry Slam and a “Halloween: Writing Isn’t Spooky” one sentence horror story contest. Right before exams, the “Writing Isn’t Ruff” day featured therapy dogs visiting campus to help students de-stress.

Both the Riverwood PTSA and the Riverwood Foundation provide funding to the Writing Center. Realizing the critical need for sustained support, the PTSA added a dedicated line-item to their 2017-18 annual operating budget. In November 2017, the Foundation sent Toledano to Chicago to attend the International Writing Centers Association Conference. Toledano spent four days learning new ways to support expanding the Center’s offerings. Near terms goals include offering more opportunities for all students to celebrate their creative endeavors, reaching out to bring more students into the Center, and providing meaningful activities to help the tutors develop as writers and as peer tutors. As a result of attending the conference, Toledano is initiating Kindness Week in early 2018 as an outreach program.


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