Writing Coaches training next week

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Writing Coaches of Montana seeks community members in Whitefish and Columbia Falls to help local students develop better writing skills. The program aims to help students become better critical thinkers, as well as more confident, competent writers.

Professional training will be offered to interested coaches on Monday, Nov. 4, from 6-8:30 pm at Whitefish High School. On-going support for coaches is offered throughout the school year.

The training will be led by Beverly Chin, Director, English Teaching Program & Montana Writing Project at the University of Montana. She is the past chair of UMís English Department, past president of the National Council of Teachers of English, and the past president of the Montana Association of Teacher of English Language Arts.

Writing coaches work one-on-one with students in grades 7-12, coaching them through first and second drafts of classroom writing assignments in sessions that last 20-30 minutes. Coaching also connects students with outside community members who bring fresh perspectives and valuable life experience to the classroom.

Coaching schedules are flexible and volunteer time is typically 3Ė6 hours per month. Coaches commit to only two class periods at a time. Coaches come from all backgrounds and do not need to have a formal writing background. The most important qualifications are to believe good writing is an essential skill and to engage young people in a positive manner.

Community members interested in learning more about the program and to sign up for training can contact rita@writingcoachesofmontana.org, call 406-314-3751, or visit www.writingcoachesofmontana.org.

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