Volunteers needed to be writing coaches

By The Lutrinae
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The National Steinbeck Center is presenting 15th annual Steinbeck Young Authors Program’s Day of Writing on Monday, March 5 and needs volunteer writing coaches.

The Day of Writing is the second phase in the Steinbeck Young Authors program, which gives middle school students an opportunity to enhance their writing skills by reading and discussing John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony. The program begins in the fall with local teachers using National Steinbeck Center curriculum to guide students as they read The Red Pony. Throughout the semester, teachers identify two to three promising students to move to the next level of the program, the Day of Writing.

During the Day of Writing, students receive demonstrations on horse care, participate in writing activities, tour the National Steinbeck Center, and write an original essay about The Red Pony. Each student is paired with a volunteer writing coach who provides constructive criticism on their essays.  The essays are later compiled and bound into a book which is given to all students during an award ceremony held at a later date.

Volunteer writing coaches commit to about three hours, 10:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., on the Day of Writing. During that time, coaches receive a brief orientation, are paired with middle school students, enjoy a complimentary lunch, and provide feedback to students on their essays. Being a writer, or having degrees in literature or journalism is not required. The ideal writing coach has a passion for writing and the patience to help constructively critique students’ work. To sign up, please contact Tara Spada tara@steinbeck.org.

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