Local middle- and high-school students who would like to improve their writing skills can get free help from Skidmore College students.
Tutors from Skidmore’s Writing Center are eager to work with anyone in the Saratoga Springs area who need help with writing, from classroom assignments to college entrance essays.
The Writing Center is on the fourth floor of the college’s Scribner Library and is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays for middle- and high-school students. The Skidmore campus is on North Broadway.
The Writing Center is staffed by trained Skidmore students working under the direction of Emma Caruso, Skidmore Class of 2013, an English major from Rhode Island. The center is overseen by Phil Boshoff and Martha Wiseman, English Department faculty members.
For Caruso, the tutoring service fills two important needs: It meets the community service mandate of her Honors Forum membership and it helps young writers strengthen their skills with guidance from other students.
“I don’t think Skidmore College can do too much to get involved in Saratoga Springs. This is our home away from home,” Caruso said in a statement.
“We have an amazing center and tools to help with any type of assignment. Everyone can use help with their writing, and this is a collaborative space for learning in the pursuit of better writing,” she said.
The training of the center’s five writing coaches includes completion of a 300-level honors English course on tutoring skills, which entails tutoring their college peers while being observed by Boshoff and Wiseman.
Enrollment in the college course is dependent on a recommendation from a Skidmore professor and a personal essay; also required is independent reading about the rules of grammar and style.
“If you come in with a draft, we’ll talk it over with you, but our task is not to fix commas; it’s to help with the process of writing,” Caruso said.
Caruso’s specialty is editing and “figuring out ways to help people be excited about their writing.”
The daughter of two teachers, her goal is to have a career in publishing. For now, she’d like to see the tutoring center well used by students in Saratoga Springs.
“The doors are open to any student writer, at any level. We’re here to help people understand their strengths and weaknesses and improve their writing,” Caruso said.