Writing Coaches program looking for volunteers

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Writing Coaches of Montana is looking for community members in Whitefish and Columbia Falls to help local students develop better writing skills.

Volunteers meet with students twice per month, helping teachers provide individualized attention.

Professional training will be offered to interested coaches on Monday, March 18 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Whitefish Community Library. Ongoing support for coaches is offered throughout the school year.

“Coaches come from all backgrounds and do not need to have a formal writing background,” says Brian Schott, program director in Whitefish. “The most important qualifications are to believe good writing is an essential skill and the ability to engage young people in a positive manner.”

Writing coaches work one-on-one with students in grades eight through 12, coaching them through first and second drafts of classroom writing assignments in sessions that last 20 to 30 minutes.

The program aims to help students become better critical thinkers, as well as more confident, competent writers. Beyond encouraging good writing, coaching also connects students with outside community members who bring fresh perspectives and valuable life experience to the classroom.

The Whitefish program is sponsored by the Whitefish Education Foundation. Jennifer Robbins leads the program in Columbia Falls, through a grant from the Steele-Reece Foundation.

Writing Coaches also has established programs in Missoula County, Ravalli County, Hamilton, Florence and Stevensville.

For more information and to register for training, email Brian Schott at writingcoaches@whitefishschools.org or call 406-261-6190. Find more information at www.writingcoachesofmontana.org.

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