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One week, 23 writing mentors

 Last weekend, I vowed to find writing mentors for each of my students in AP English.

My thinking went: If suburban kids have access to a college-educated editor (i.e., their parent) to improve their writing, my students should have the same opportunity.

And to get this support, I thought, my students shouldn’t have to join an after-school program or travel on two buses across the city. The support should just be there for them.

So I put out a request for online writing mentors who would commit to providing online writing support for one student for the entire year.

The response was overwhelming. Complete strangers signed up. A few of my friends went crazy with their recruitment efforts. Just one week later, I have 23 writing mentors, one for each student.

Here’s how it’s going to work: Every Tuesday, writing mentors will log on Google Docs, read their mentee’s essay, and leave comments — all in 15-20 minutes. Then they’ll do it again (and again) the following Tuesday (and then the following Tuesday) until the AP exam in May.

I can’t wait to see the results. Will this project improve my students’ writing? Will my students see themselves more as prospective college students? Or will the feedback overwhelm them? 

Please share your brilliant insights!