The Community Writing Center at Salt Lake Community College and the Salt Lake Public Library are partnering for Salt Lake Teens Write (SLTW) during the 2011-2012 academic year.
The Writing Center is currently looking for adult volunteer mentors to match with the teens. About half of the positions for mentors are still available.
“This is truly a community project,” Andrea Malouf, professor of English and SLCC Community Writing Center director said.
People who use writing daily and have two years of experience either professionally or in their personal lives are encouraged to apply. The mentor and the student may work on diverse projects based on the student’s interests, ranging from resume development and college applications to creative writing like poems and short stories. This program is designed to supplement the students’ academic work.
“This is a long-term academic and career mentoring program for teens,” said Malouf.
Mentors must be able to commit for the entire 2011-2012 school year, and they will collaborate with the teens for eight months. Mentors must also successfully pass a background check in order to be considered for the position. Mentors and students will meet in public, and the mentor will not be allowed to drive students to or from the meeting place.
There will be a training scheduled for the mentors in August, and the program is scheduled to begin the first week of September. After the training, the mentor and the student will meet once a week for about an hour from September 2011 to May 2012. The teams will also meet once a quarter for writing workshops with the other SLTW mentoring teams.
The pilot program was called Salt Lake City Girls Write and started with eight teams of mentors and students. It finished on May 21, 2011 with a gathering and a reading of works that both the mentors and the girls had written and published.
The process that the mentors and teens used was collaborative and often times the teen would suggest a writing activity. At the end of the program, “it was obvious that they [teens and mentors] had really bonded and gained some skills,” said Malouf.
The Salt Lake City Girls Write became the SLTW program this year and has expanded to include men. Malouf expects 15 to 20 high school students in their junior year as of September 2011 to take part in the program.
The SLCC Community Writing Center’s mission states that it “supports, motivates and educates people of all abilities and educational backgrounds who want to use writing for practical needs, civic engagement and personal expression.” They accomplish this through many programs including writing coaching, writing workshops and Salt Lake Teens Write. The CWC also provides an open and safe place for writers to express their ideas.
For more information on how to get involved with the SLCC Writing Center, contact them at 801-957-2192 or visit their web site, http://www.slcc.edu/cwc/index.asp