Writing on Wednesdays

Published 3:08 pm Thursday, August 21, 2008

Montevallo High School has a new program this school year that’s got a lot of people talking.

In addition to a 15–minute reading time before everyone’s second class of the day, students now have an allotted writing time each Wednesday.

Writing takes the place of the reading time that students have been accustomed to these past few years. Students, who will have to write for the first 15 minutes of class every Wednesday, are given a prompt, the writing itself usually not exceeding one page. The prompts themselves are on a variety of topics ranging from character to career decisions.

This Writing on Wednesdays program is a part of the Alabama Reading Initiative as Montevallo High School is an ARI school. However, it is the first of its kind to also employ a daily writing program in addition to all of its reading programs. The objective of this program is to get everyone writing and to improve students’ basic writing skills.

It gets students thinking about the topics they are writing on as well.

“Every Wednesday students will write a response to a prompt. The prompts will deal with career education and character education as well as a concentration on success. All teachers attended a professional workshop so that all student responses can be evaluated with the same criteria,” said reading coach Jane Clayton. “We believe that students need more opportunities for writing, as nonfiction writing is a hallmark of success for students and schools.”

So far students have written on topics such as why receiving a high school diploma is important or whether or not they feel in–school education holds more validity than out–of–school education. The activities are greatly assisting students in honing their writing skills, which will help them later on in their lives.

“I feel that it’s useful for students that aren’t as strong in their writing as they could be,” Katie Bitz, a Montevallo High School junior said of the program.

This at least shows that the program is off to a good start.