‘Writing coach’ program switches to Action Wednesdays

Program becomes more accessible to students


Jessie Belen

Senior Luca Alvarez demonstrates how to be a writing coach Sept. 28. This is a writing coach Action Wednesday that’s available.

Sarah Kluckhohn

This year, the writing coach program — formerly held in the learning lab and only available during Student Support Time — is being led during Action Wednesday. The program, which began last year, provides an opportunity for students to use their writing ability and knowledge to help their peers with school work. 

Emma Engebretson and Callie Hefstaad are running the program a little differently, according to Engebretson. She said they are using Action Wednesday to prepare the coaches.

“We use the Action Wednesday time to teach the coaches and get the program up and running,” Engebretson said. “We go through what a session could look like and what needs to be done to advertise the program.” 

According to sophomore writing coach Autumn Wahlberg, the group meeting during Action Wednesday has been helpful for her schedule. 

“It’s easier to get to now, that’s the biggest thing,” Wahlberg said. “It was hard last year. If you didn’t have a study hall, you’d have to find your own time to come in.” 

Students are available to coach at the Orioles Nest after school a couple days a week, although Engebretson says this is not the final stop for coaching. 

“We’re still in the process of getting it up and running, but right now we have writing coaches available in the Orioles Nest after school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-5:30 p.m. ,” Engebretson said. “We’re hoping to implement the program into the school day as well, either during study halls having people sign up through student support time.”

Although the program is still in its early stages, Engebretson says the use of Action Wednesdays as a meeting time is helpful for its development. 

“Action Wednesdays are a natural time to bring all the writing coaches together to have meetings, since Ms. Hefstaad and I don’t have free time to meet like this otherwise to meet and discuss,” Engebretson said. 

Engebretson said she has only found one issue with meeting during Action Wednesday: the availability of students is limited. 

“Not all the coaches (from last year) signed up for the Action Wednesday because of all the other options there are during the time,” Engebreston said. 

Sophomore and returning coach Cecilia Brown was disappointed in last year’s system and is excited for the new set up.

“I was disappointed in the turn out (last year). During the school day, there’s not going to be that many people who can come in — I ended up helping only three or four people,” Brown said. “People also just didn’t know the program existed, or how it worked.” 

Wahlberg agrees, saying her biggest issue with the program last year apart from the timing was the lack of students coming in for help. This can be attributed to the lack of advertising, according to Wahlberg. 

“Nobody came. Nobody really knew about it, so nobody went. Just advertising the program more would really help,” Wahlberg said. 

Brown said she believes the program will be able to accomplish what’s needed from advertising, and that her hopes for the program this year are high. 

“If we advertise the program more, I think it’ll become more popular, and (Action Wednesdays) gives us time to do that and think through everything before we really start,” Brown said.