Janet C. Mandel, Teacher
"TRaC is an extremely beneficial experience for high school students, and I am eager to recruit them into the program. TRaC sharpens their skills as observers, writers and critics, and gives the students the independence-building experience and responsibility of traveling into New York each week. The proficiencies the students develop will serve them well when they go to college and will prepare them to meet the challenges of the many different careers that value inventive imagination and good observation and writing skills. TRaC participants forge relationships with other students who share their creative inclinations and study with adult professionals whose experience and knowledge are invaluable.
The students I have sent to TRaC have thoroughly enjoyed the program and have been very grateful to have had the opportunity to participate. I will enthusiastically continue to send Columbia students to TRaC, confident that their exposure to the program will not only make them better writers, but will enrich their lives and the lives of the people with whom they interact both personally, in an academic setting and professionally."
Sara Solberg, Teacher
"McNair Academic High School has sent about 10 students to participate in High5's wonderful TRaC program. All of them have seen improvement in their writing, especially Miriam Haier, a young woman whose interests range far and wide but whose commitment to good writing has never wavered. She says that the TRaC program has taught her how to describe--in this last program, how to describe a visual art piece that the reader does not, of course, see. "We take description for granted," she said, "but it is, in fact, something we have to train ourselves to do. It involves a new way of seeing." Learning how to paint word pictures, she says, has helped her in every other area of her academic life. What she says resonates for all of us. When I think of the critics who have illuminated literature for me over the years--Arthur Symonds, Hugh Kenner, Roger Shattuck--I realize that they are all, among other things, master describers. And when it comes to describing the nonverbal arts, such as music and art and dance, about which it is difficult to think and write, good critical writing is a real gift to the world. Many of my students have no idea about, or taste for, the hard work of description, and we are very grateful to High5 and TRaC for providing a bridge for them to the world of professionalism in writing."