What is WEP?

Last year, Round Lake High School juniors took part in the Writing Enrichment Program (WEP), meeting for a full period once a week with a Scholar Coach. The goals of WEP centered around preparing junior Scholars for college writing. By giving them a space to develop their writing skills in a context that is separate from their classwork, we allowed them to explore new forms of writing beyond the academic structures they typically use in high school. As the year progressed, Scholars in WEP developed essays of their own, synthesizing and responding to the texts they read. Similar to selecting a college course, their essays explored a topic of their choosing. Listed below are the topics Scholars focused on this year:

Insomnia and the mind
Intersectional feminism
Resilience as response to childhood trauma
Gender and the use of pronouns
Cultural appropriation
Climate change regulation
Medical experimentation on humans
Parental culpability in child hot car deaths
Barriers for women in STEM fields
Culture and mental illness

Below are some Scholars’ reflections on what they gained from WEP:

“My biggest takeaway from this year is that it is extremely important to do multiple revisions before turning something in. I noticed that with all the different strategies I used for revision, including reading out loud, annotating, or selecting a main idea for each paragraph, there was always something I wanted to alter or add.”
-Ruby Cordova

“I think the biggest takeaway from this year was learning that a college paper can take many shapes and sizes, but it all depends on the topic and the writer to create the writing they envision (all while following general paper guidelines).”
-Sam Ruiz

“These sessions were times where I was able to explore a subject area not known to many other students of my age… That has helped me grow as a person so I can better handle various types of subject matter in college or life.”
-Aldair Bacilio

“I felt like WEP was a way for me to not only gain experience of more flexible writing, but also as a way to explore my creativity and ways to practice and perfect my writing. For me WEP wasn’t a burden, but a time slot to practice my skills in the topic I’m interested, which is writing…[I]t’s because of WEP that I feel more confident as a writer, and more assured of what to expect in college.”
-Yaidelice Antunez 


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