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The Online Student Newspaper of Central Bucks High School South

Titan Tribune

The Online Student Newspaper of Central Bucks High School South

Titan Tribune

The Online Student Newspaper of Central Bucks High School South

Titan Tribune

Writing Center Holds First Annual Writing Showcase


From poetry to screenplays to DBQ’s, Central Bucks South’s Writing Center recently displayed the writing of dozens of students in their first annual Writing Showcase. 

The Writing Center was filled with writing pieces from April 29 to May 3, allowing students and faculty to visit during Lunch and Learn and class time to appreciate the writing abilities of their peers. This showcase was a long time coming, as the Writing Center itself opened less than two years ago but had been in the planning for more than eight.

“Our previous English department chair, Ms. Reisinger, had this idea. She’s always wanted to do it,” Writing Center administrator Ms. Jennifer Tannous, said. “We talked about it for a while, and then we decided to study it.”

For months, Ms. Tannous and Ms. Reisinger visited the writing centers of colleges and high schools all around the country to create the basis for their own. “Once we decided what we wanted our writing center to look like, we put together a proposal and we went to the superintendent and school board to give them our proposal, and we got approval,” Ms. Tannous said.

Despite Ms. Reisinger’s retirement last year, Ms. Tannous has continued to build the Writing Center with the assistance of her tutors.

As the Writing Center continued to grow, Ms. Tannous wanted to find a way to empower student writers beyond a bulletin board in the center. “I always envisioned the Writing Center as being a place to not only support student writers but also celebrate them,” she said.

“I think we do a great job of supporting them. I think we could do a better job of celebrating them,” Ms. Tannous continued. “This showcase was an effort to really do this in a cool, visual, interactive way.”

Inspired by the yearly art show, where Ms. Tannous noted she was amazed by all the creativity of students whom she didn’t know were artists. She said she wanted students and faculty to visit the showcase and have that same feeling.

Ms. Tannous’s goal was proven successful as students who visited the showcase were surprised by some of the writing pieces they saw. Erin Morton, a sophomore and newly certified Writing Center Tutor who entered her own poem into the showcase, noticed that “there were a lot of submissions, a lot of people who I wouldn’t normally think were writers were submitting their stuff.”

However, it wasn’t just Ms. Tannous who designed this showcase. Gathering the help of current tutors, along with sophomores and juniors training to be tutors, many were involved in the execution of this showcase. Ms. Tannous said that these students “quickly grasped what this could look like, and they really took the lead.”

Sophomore and newly certified tutor Luka Jonjic participated in the physical production of the showcase. “I was involved with reading over and printing out the papers,” Jonjic said. “Basically, editing the writing papers and displaying them around the Writing Center.”

Another one of these students was Leanne Mathew, a sophomore and newly certified Writing Center tutor. As the sophomore class Public Relations Officer, she, along with the sophomore class Fundraising Officer, “collaborated to promote the writing showcase on their student council Instagram and reach out to a wider audience through that resource.”

This student assistance had a deeper meaning to Ms. Tannous than just some extra hands, though.

“If people are coming in and viewing this work, they also are engaged with activities that our showcase committee put together instead of just me,” Ms. Tannous said. “Sometimes from a teacher it feels like ‘oh, this is an assignment,’ but when students create it, it’s a collaboration, and I think students are more open to those collaborative components more so than they would be to teachers.”

With each year, Ms. Tannous hopes the showcase will improve, one particular area being with the number of submissions. Receiving around 50 submissions, the showcase had enough to present in many different areas of writing, but Ms. Tannous hopes to build this number up in the following years.

To students who may have been too shy to submit their writing piece for this showcase, Ms. Tannous said, “I think I would ask students to really think about or ask themselves why they might be shy or pensive and is it because of a feeling of failure or judgment, because both of those things are things that we are not seeing at all down here. There’s been a lot of overwhelming positivity and I think that for any writer you’re going to have to take a risk.”

“You might as well take that risk in a way that you know you’re going to be supported,” Ms. Tannous said.

Overall, many are pleased with the outcome of the Writing Showcase. South’s students were able to see the writing abilities of their peers and even learn a thing or two from them, whether that be the potential harm of artificial intelligence or that their best friend can write poetry.

“I think, too often, students think of writing as this task that you do for school and your only audience member is your teacher,” Ms. Tannous said. “When in reality, writing is something that helps you throughout every stage of your life and it helps you to become a better communicator, a more critical thinker, and a better human.”

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