New US Writing Lab Provides Peer Tutoring

What started as an upper school English department “wish list item,” has transmogrified into an accredited Secondary Schools Writing Center, under Department Chair Sharon Wendler’s thoughtful leadership. 

The center, one of only five accredited labs in the state of Florida, provides peer-centered writing help to students in the upper school. 

“The concept arose from an English department meeting.  We identified the need for a writing lab as a wishlist item, worked with [Director of the Learning Commons] Kristen Hewitt to secure a dedicated home for it in the DLC, and worked with [Social Studies Department Chair] Sara Misselhorn and the National Honor Society to staff it,” said Wendler. 

Wendler is of the belief that “if you talk about writing, you get better at writing.” On any given afternoon in the Writing Lab you can hear upper school NHS peer tutors talking about literature with their classmates.

In its second year at Benjamin, the Center’s mission is to promote advocacy for peer-driven writing programs and empower student leaders. 

National Honor Society President Skyler Malmberg has taken a leadership role in the community effort as a peer tutor, something she first began doing in 10th grade.

“I was interested in becoming a peer tutor to help those who struggle in certain areas,” said Malmberg. 

When the Writing Lab was launched at Benjamin her junior year, she was excited to dive in and help students hone their writing skills. 

Beyond the tutoring process, Malmberg said the biggest highlight is the connections she’s formed with fellow Benjamin students. 

“The Writing Lab is a space for students to come share their ideas and receive feedback on their writing. I love helping students find the deeper meaning of a book and discover what they truly want to write about,” said Malmberg. 

Malmberg said students not only gain confidence in their writing, but build relationships with peers in their community. She said the process has been especially rewarding thanks to the exposure to new books, topics, and ideas, she may not have otherwise been exposed to.

“I hope that over the next year, the program can continue to grow by constantly having peer tutors in the Writing Lab and advertising it to students so that they know there is a space where they can get help all the time with any type of writing assignment,” she said. 

A premier PK3 - Grade 12 independent, coeducational day school with campuses in North Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. Since 1960, The Benjamin School has provided a challenging college preparatory education to a diverse student body in a structured, nurturing community environment.
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