Schools across the country have had varied responses to getting funding for their writing centers. Some centers, especially those with volunteer coordinators and tutors, may require very little funding. Others, including those that wish to use computers or pay tutors a stipend, may need to work harder to fund their centers. Some examples of funding options include:
Choosing to offer a course that coincides with the offerings the writing center provides can allow funding to come from the regular school budget. Many schools in Northern Virginia offer a course in advanced composition that trains student tutors who then work with their peers during lunch periods throughout the school week.
School foundations may be enticed to help fund writing centers as part of larger learning goals. For example, the Minnetonka public Schools Foundation agreed to pay $50,000 per year for up to five years for a writing center in Minnetonka, MN.
Petitioning for grants and fellowships is often the way to go for new writing centers, especially those that may not get approval from administration if the project were to require additional monetary support from the school or school system. Many organizations, including DonorsChoose.org offer ways for teachers to get funding for educational projects.
Offering a writing center as an extracurricular activity opens doors for student-centered fundraising (like bake sales, raffles, etc.) that may not be available to class-based secondary school writing centers. This option is especially popular in regions where after school activity buses are offered to students who opt to stay at school for such extracurricular activities.
Make it a class
Seek help from school foundations or school districts
Petition for grants
Get in through a side door
This website was made as a course project by Jennie Tal Williams who is working on an MA in English with a concentration in the teaching of writing and literature at George Mason University. For more information, contact us.