Montevallo middle school students working to improve writing

University of Montevallo students work with Montevallo Middle School students to improve writing skills (contributed)

University of Montevallo students work with Montevallo Middle School students to improve writing skills (contributed)

By GINNY COOPER / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO—University of Montevallo and Montevallo Middle School have teamed up to provide individual tutoring to middle school students.

Dr. Jennifer Alexiou-Ray and Dr. Tammy Cook, professors at the University of Montevallo, organized UM education student volunteers who met with eighth grade students to critique their writing samples. The university students pointed out strengths and weaknesses in the samples and advised students on how to improve their writing.

Montevallo Middle School student Madison Childress said the experience was very helpful.

“He (the tutor) said he liked my creativity and the way I express my ideas. That made me want to write more and better,” Childress said.

Montevallo Middle School eighth grade English language arts teacher who organized the event, Audra Edwards, said the experience was invigorating for her students.

“Even though we ELA teachers focus on these things regularly, when the students hear it from a new perspective and from someone closer to their own age, they have a renewed interest,” Edwards explained.

Edwards also stressed the benefits for both the middle school students and the university students.

“They (the middle school students) appreciated the undivided attention of these writing consultants. The UM students benefited from the experience, too, as they got more teaching time with students in a real setting,” Edwards said. “We plan to hold these writing conferences again. They are a win for everyone involved.”