Students pioneering new Writing Center


Joshua Tarafa

Chris Nieto, left, and Uriel Bandera worked on a creative writing piece. The Writing Center is open before and after school, and during lunch periods.

By Sam Sorich, Reporter

After walking out of his first appointment in Lane’s new Writing Center, Zack Maldonado, Div. 983, said he was happy with the peaceful and welcoming space that offered assistance with his essay.

“It offered another input on my writing because I don’t have another set of eyes who can read my stuff,” Maldonado said. “It was really helpful.”

English teacher Ms. Cramarosso and her Writing Instructor students opened the Writing Center doors Nov. 8 to the Lane community.

The Writing Center is an alternative space to the traditional classroom setting. Students are able to improve their writing in an environment run completely by their peers, according to Cramarosso.

As a former Depaul Writing Center tutor, Cramarosso said she supports the unique opportunities the environment offers, such as the peer-to-peer system that provides a safe space for students to improve their writing knowledge.

“It offers a different way on campus to grow your writing skills and to grow your learning without the often stressful, or even fearful environment of the classroom,” Cramarosso said.

The Writing Center is open before school, after school and during lunch periods. On their website, students can make an appointment with one of the many student tutors enrolled in the class.

Senior tutor Grace Bracken, Div. 851, is one of the many students at Lane who have helped make the Writing Center possible. According to Bracken, she and the rest of the tutors have been preparing for the opening since the beginning of the school year.

“We have been developing our own tutoring style and done practice tutoring sessions on each other,” Bracken said.

The position of a tutor has become a large time commitment, according to Bracken. She said she was surprised how much she enjoyed helping others and working in the space.

“It felt much more than a class and that is what it’s become,” Bracken said. “It’s become more of like an experience and sort of like a job, but a great job.”

Bracken said the tutor’s main objective is to make anyone who walks in feel welcomed and comfortable.

We wanted to be available to everyone at all grade levels, which is why we have tutors all the way from freshmen to seniors,” Bracken said. “So that way there is someone that can work with anyone and people have the option to work with someone in their grade level.”

Dylan Pauel, Div. 051, a tutor in the Writing Center, explained the importance of tutors’ roles in the center to guide students, not edit their papers.

“One thing that a lot of people expect about the Writing Center is that we are going to be editors to the papers or we are going to correct them,” Pauel said. “But what the Writing Center is really about is more for the writer to become a better writer themselves so they are voicing their own opinions on their own papers.”

Cramarosso stressed their goal for the Writing Center this year: to get more people to come. As the instructor and previous tutor, she has noticed how surprised students are about their excitement in writing after visiting the center.

We are hoping that as we continue, we are portraying that message that we’re an opening environment and egalitarian learning space where it’s for everyone and there is no need to impress or shame, and all writing is good writing,” Bracken said.

After the first month of the opening, the Writing Center has experienced a large turn out.

“We’ve had over 200 appointments in the last three weeks and over 500 people signed up for the website,” Pauel said.

According to Pauel, all of the tutors and himself are pleased with the opening weeks of the Writing Center, and are continuing to make improvements to their tutoring techniques and the space.