Writing Center an ‘incredible resource’

Ms. Lewis helps a student with a paper in the Writing Center in room 141.Photo: Kaylin Rivera

According to the high school website, the all-new Writing Center located in room 141 is “a place where students can get focused, one-on-one support with writing assignments from any department.” They can also receive help with college essays, creative projects, or professional writing.”

Amanda Lewis, who runs the Writing Center, grew up Beverly, Massachusetts and then moved to Western Mass. for school.

She attended Smith College, worked in Boston for a while, and then moved back to the area in January of 2016.

Ms. Lewis loves “to read and write, to be a part of creative communities, and to collaborate with folks on artistic projects.”

She cares about “justice and storytelling,” and loves meeting new people. Ms. Lewis also said she is partially deaf, “so if you meet me in the hallway please make eye-contact when you say hello or I might miss it!”

She’s thrilled to be at ARHS, and is looking forward to getting to know students and faculty and growing the Writing Center.

In its ads, the center says that “if you’re just starting a paper and don’t know where to begin, or want a second pair of eyes on your final draft, The Writing Center can help you strengthen your work.”

Ms. Lewis starts off any session by asking the students a couple of questions about what they hope to gain from their session and working together in Google Docs with the writer.

Lewis loves reading and writing and claims there are many different types of writing: “writing as healing, writing as resistance, writing as world-making, writing as reflection, writing as critical analysis – and it can really rock your world.”

“It rocks my world at least,” she added. “I’ve always been an avid reader and writer.”

She said she is a fast reader and will often read a book quickly to “devour it for big picture ideas, then immediately read it again slowly with more of an eye for detail and language.”

“In a dream world, I would love large chunks of time where I could read uninterrupted and drink coffee and eat mini peanut butter cups,”  Ms. Lewis said.

Ms. Lewis thinks that having the Writing Center is an incredible resource for the high school. “I wish I’d had one! I hope we all benefit from it,” she said.

Right now, Ms. Lewis plans to keep informing people about the center so that more students hopefully take advantage of it.

So far, Ms. Lewis also loves students’ input.

“If you are an ARHS student and want to help me brainstorm creative ways to get more students involved, I would love to talk to you! You can stop by in 141 or email me at lewisa@arps.org. I’m serious. I want your input,” she said.

Ms. Lewis wants the Writing Center to be a place for both those who feel confident in their writing skills and students who feel like they need support.

She believes that good writing involves revision, not just making line edits or changing a couple of words here and there.

Students can make online appointments by going to the high school web site, clicking on Academics, and then clicking on the Writing Center.