There is the League of Superheroes and there is Dumbledore’s Army and there is the Dead Poet’s Society and then, above them all, is the special triumvirate of Liberty Street Tutoring Interns, Katie, Ricky, and Emma. Every day Monday through Thursday these three important people make our program run, caring for all the details (the daily writing table prompt, the all-important snack, the sign-in sheets, the all-too-often searches for laptop cords and lined paper and the occasional perfectly-sized cardboard box for a diorama) that make after-school tutoring the warm, invaluable space that students come to day after day.
Emma Perpich arrives early every day and coordinates tutor trainings, gets our lab ready for students, and processes all of our tutoring intake paperwork with an unparalleled level of genuine enthusiasm. Emma makes our lab such a welcome place for EVERYONE — tutors, students, parents, and staff, and remains utterly unphased by even the rowdiest days at 826. She takes time to talk to every person who walks in the lab, knows and greets everyone by name and handles all situations with her characteristic poise and sense of humor. She also has an extra-special place in our hearts for transitioning from being an 826michigan student (way back when we were on State Street) to an irreplaceable volunteer.
Ricky Wiesner has been our Creative Writing Intern at Liberty Street tutoring since September, and over the past nine months, he has created a treasure trove of writing exercises for our students, helping them to explore voice, suspense, and character with a new writing project each day. Ricky helped to shape our writing table (which started as an actual table in our basement and shifted to more inclusive activity for all students upstairs in our lab). He encouraged new students to write every month by conferencing with them one-on-one and truly listening to and responding to their interests as writers. For the first time, thanks to Ricky and the writing table, we published three tutoring zines on Liberty Street!
Katie Lampen started as our Creative Writing Curriculum Intern in January and jumped right into helping with our writing table program and to assisting at tutoring wherever (front desk? One on one with students? Behind the scenes with lesson planning?) she is needed. Her writing exercises are just as detailed and funny, creative and inspiring as we hope our students’ experiences will be here at tutoring. Katie is an organizational powerhouse, an all-star tutor, AND a certified teacher, making her an incredible asset to our students every day at tutoring. Katie is taking over the writing table for the rest of this semester and overseeing the completion of our final ‘zine!
Three is the magic number we are so lucky to have had here at Liberty Street Tutoring this spring semester. Katie, Ricky, and Emma have made our program 300% better everyday with their passion, perseverance, and fantastic smiles. Three thousand cheers for our team, and three thousand thanks to each of them!