Q & A: Mrs. Elana Arens, Librarian


The Writing Lab flyer hangs in the Library. A separate room had been arranged to accommodate the students and their helpers.

Emily Lisac

Q: What new program are you offering to students?

A: It’s an open lab. [It is for] kids who need help with whatever writing they are working on. It can be for any class. It does not need to be for English. It doesn’t even have to be strictly writing. It could be a PowerPoint or any kind of project. They can go to the writing lab and work with another student and get help on that writing. They could be helped during any point of the writing process whether it is brainstorming, researching, writing a thesis or writing a conclusion.

Q: How can students sign up?

A: Kids can make appointments with me. I would set it up and schedule a time for them, probably [during] their study hall or a class that their teacher would be willing for them to miss. It might be through their English class. I would write a pass for that kid to come to the writing lab and I would schedule them with a student helper.

Q: Who will be helping the students?

A: I have probably 20 student helpers who have volunteered to be a part of [the writing lab] and want to help other students with their writing. They are mostly seniors, but I have a couple juniors and a sophomore. They are giving up their study hall to come [to the library] and help other kids.

 Q: When is the program getting started?

A; We are ready and looking for customers. If somebody needs, they can email me at [email protected] and drop in before or after school and set something up.

Q: What do you hope students will gain from this program?

A: I think that [the writing lab] is a good idea to have this kind of help. It is really like a university model. When you go away to school, every university has a writing lab where kids get help on their writing from other students. That is the model that I am following, but it is really to help everyone to become more effective communicators. That’s my hope. If people start doing better on their ISTEPs then that’s all good too. I want kids to have more confidence in communicating.