Community members of all ages and backgrounds now have free access to one-on-one tutoring sessions and group workshops aimed at improving their writing. Individual sessions focus on any form of writing, and workshops focus on topics such as scholarship essays, résumés and cover letters, and creative writing.
Since it opened this September, the center has already provided 30 individual tutorial sessions and serviced 28 individuals through workshops.
“Since we know that writing is such an important skill—both professionally and personally—I am pleased that this community writing center is able to be a part of the Bay Area,” said Helen Raica-Klotz, SVSU’s Writing Center director.
Those in the community, too, see the center as a valuable asset. One said, “You are a great service—so glad to have you here in Bay City!” And another commented, “The feedback my tutor gave me was so helpful.”
According to the most recent National Center for Education Statistics report, 8% of the Bay County population lacks basic literacy skills, and 14% of adults are illiterate. The Literacy Council of Bay County does important work with increasing residents’ reading ability, but until now there hasn’t been an organization focused specifically on writing.
Bay Area Community Foundation’s Community Initiative Fund and Youth Advisory Fund granted $16,775 to fund this pilot program for two years.
This writing center is only the second community writing center in Michigan. The first opened in Saginaw in 2015 through SVSU’s Writing Center and is funded by Saginaw Community Foundation.