Saginaw Valley State University writing tutors will offer their expertise for free to members of the community beginning this month.
Those services will be offered monthly - and eventually twice a month - beginning Tuesday, Oct. 13, at Butman-Fish Branch Library, 1716 Hancock in Saginaw.
One-on-one tutoring will be available from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. A creative writing workshop will be offered for students in grades 6 to 12 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
SVSU organizers say they believe the Saginaw Community Writing Center is the first university-sponsored community writing center offered in the state. The tutors are the same student-tutors who offer services in SVSU's Writing Center, which helps students with essays, resumès and other writing-based work.
“Spider-Man says, ‘With great power comes great responsibility,’ and it's our responsibility to share our talent with the community at large," said Helen Raica-Klotz, the Writing Center director. "Our tutors are very gifted students and teachers of writing.”
The genesis for the Saginaw Community Writing Center began after Chris Giroux, Writing Center assistant director and assistant professor of English, attended the International Writing Center Association's annual conference in October 2014. There, he listened to a presentation from Tiffany Rousculp, who established one of the first higher education-sponsored community writing center through Salt Lake Community College in 1998.
“What she had to say was very impressive, and I came back completely energized,” Giroux said. “We're a university that's about community engagement, and this fits perfectly into that initiative.”
Giroux and Raica-Klotz said the Writing Center's student-tutors are excited for the opportunity.
“This project would not have been possible if the tutors were not as responsive to the idea,” Raica-Klotz said. “This is an important initiative to them, and they've embraced it.”
The Dow Corning Foundation, Saginaw Community Foundation and the Public Libraries of Saginaw are sponsors of the Saginaw Community Writing Center.
For now, the program has enough funds to keep the center operational for two years, organizers say.
The center's services also will be available Tuesday, Nov. 10, and Tuesday, Dec. 8, at Butman-Fish Branch Library. The Nov. 10 workshop, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. will focus on writing effective resumes; the Dec. 8 workshop will focus on writing personal letters.
One-on-one writing tutoring will be available from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. both dates.
Beginning in January 2016, these services will be available twice a month throughout the academic year.
There is no need to register in advance for the workshops or tutoring services.
For more information, visit the Saginaw Community Writing Center website at www.svsu.edu/communitywriting.