Three Blair students were honored as part of a TECH CORPS Partners press conference for their creation of a volunteer program which uses email to help elementary school students improve their writing skills.
The press conference on Monday, April 22 highlighted contributions to schools and students by technology literate volunteers.
Juniors Annie Peirce, Sarah Thibadeau, and Matt Yalowitz created their program as part of the Communication Arts Program (CAP) "Change" project, which requires students to execute a change in their commmunity. After the assignment's official completion last winter, the three students expanded their program, the Montgomery Ultimate Story Exchange (M.U.S.E.), to include more students and more interaction between the mentors and the elementary students.
Following a demonstration of their program to various Montgomery County publications on Thursday, April 18, the three students' accomplishments were honored in the Montgomery Journal and Montgomery Gazette.
M.U.S.E. currently has 16 elementary students enrolled in an after school program. Stories, poems, and other creative works are placed into individual email accounts. Each student has a high school mentor who responds to the emails with writing help and suggestions. The mentors meet with the students to discuss projects in person twice every semester. A faculty advisor at Pine Crest supervises the students during M.U.S.E. meetings as the students improve past projects and work on new pieces according to their mentors' responses.
The three Blazers have been working on their mentoring program since the middle of their sophomore year. It began with a group of 15 elementary students and 15 high school students and has expanded to over 25 high school mentors. The Blazers currently involved in this mentorship program are all CAP students; however, they hope to incorporate more of the rest of the school soon, according to Yalowitz.
Both Pine Crest and the three Blazers have been pleased with the success of M.U.S.E. "The school was really excited because we were the first [program] that was actually successful," said Peirce.
Several other schools have also begun taking interest in the mentorship program developed by the three juniors. Colonel Zadok A. Magruder High School is contemplating adopting the program next year with its National Honor Society students.
Annie Peirce. Annie Peirce is a senior in the Communications Arts Program and the public relations manager for Silver Chips. She is also an opinions editor for Silver Chips Online. She was born on October 25, 1984, in a hospital somewhere in Prince George's County; but doesn't … More »
Jeanne Yang. Jeanne Yang is an Asian (yes, that means black-haired brown-eyed) girl in the Maggot (err, the Magnet . . . ) Program at Montgomery Blair High School. She spends her time doodling her little anime drawings, chatting with friends online, and struggling to complete her … More »