Title

The Blue Ridge Scholars Literacy Project

Academic Title

Dr. Alison Hite is a Senior Lecturer. Dr. Phillip Mitchell is an Assistant Professor. Dr. Paula Mullins is an Assistant Professor. Dr. Nathan Price is an Assistant Professor. Dr. Robert Scott is an Assistant Professor.

College

College of Arts and Letters and College of Science and Mathematics

Department

English, Psychological Sciences, Political Science, Mathematics, and History, Anthropology, and Philosophy.

Primary Campus

Blue Ridge

Title of Award Granted

LEAP into Action

Name of Institution that Granted the Award

University of North Georgia

Keywords

LEAP, Blue Ridge Scholars, Literacy

Abstract

The Blue Ridge Scholars Literacy Project has been the focus of the Blue Ridge Scholars program since the fall of 2018. Our community partner and Director of Instructional Services and Policy at Fannin County schools, Ms. Sarah Welch, was awarded an L4GA (Literacy for Learning, Living, and Leading in Georgia) grant during the spring of 2018 that allowed her to implement an ambitious new reading curriculum at Fannin County schools. In our meetings with Ms. Welch, we learned how critical reading at grade level is for elementary students who make the transition from learning how to read to reading to learn in the 3rd grade. We also learned that 75% of Georgia’s third graders are not reading at grade level, alarming stakeholders who worry about long-term trends such as our state’s crime rate and ability to attract businesses that require a highly skilled workforce.

We were drawn to this issue given its importance to our community and our state. Thus, we explored issues and themes related to literacy in each of the courses that make up the Blue Ridge Scholars program. Additionally, we applied for (and subsequently received) a LEAP into Action Grant that allowed us to finance training and supplies for service learning projects that mutually benefitted both UNG and Fannin County students. Our main project was to conduct read alouds in 2nd grade classrooms designed to get students excited about reading and talking about important issues. We used our LEAP into Action Grant to hire experts in early childhood education from the University of West Georgia to work with our students on selecting appropriate books, modeling best practices for read alouds, and constructing lesson plans appropriate for the 2nd grade level. Additionally, our grant helped us purchase high-quality children’s books that were written to promote critical thinking and discussion of important topics, such as segregation and immigration. In this poster, we are presenting an overview of the literacy issue, how we connected it to our disparate courses, and the impact these projects had on our Blue Ridge Scholars.

Biography

Dr. Hite is a senior lecturer of Psychological Science on the Blue Ridge campus. She also teaches online courses. Dr. Mitchell is an assistant professor of English on the Blue Ridge campus. Paula D. Mullins is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics and Statistics from Georgia State University, specializing in Bioinformatics. Dr. Price is an assistant professor of Political Science on the Blue Ridge campus. His teaching and research interests are primarily Western European and American politics. Dr. Scott is an assistant professor of Philosophy on the Blue Ridge and Dahlonega campuses. He currently serves as co-President of the Georgia Philosophical Society.

Proposal Type

Poster

Subject Area

English/Communications

Start Date

15-11-2019 12:00 PM

End Date

15-11-2019 1:00 PM

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Nov 15th, 12:00 PM Nov 15th, 1:00 PM

The Blue Ridge Scholars Literacy Project

The Blue Ridge Scholars Literacy Project has been the focus of the Blue Ridge Scholars program since the fall of 2018. Our community partner and Director of Instructional Services and Policy at Fannin County schools, Ms. Sarah Welch, was awarded an L4GA (Literacy for Learning, Living, and Leading in Georgia) grant during the spring of 2018 that allowed her to implement an ambitious new reading curriculum at Fannin County schools. In our meetings with Ms. Welch, we learned how critical reading at grade level is for elementary students who make the transition from learning how to read to reading to learn in the 3rd grade. We also learned that 75% of Georgia’s third graders are not reading at grade level, alarming stakeholders who worry about long-term trends such as our state’s crime rate and ability to attract businesses that require a highly skilled workforce.

We were drawn to this issue given its importance to our community and our state. Thus, we explored issues and themes related to literacy in each of the courses that make up the Blue Ridge Scholars program. Additionally, we applied for (and subsequently received) a LEAP into Action Grant that allowed us to finance training and supplies for service learning projects that mutually benefitted both UNG and Fannin County students. Our main project was to conduct read alouds in 2nd grade classrooms designed to get students excited about reading and talking about important issues. We used our LEAP into Action Grant to hire experts in early childhood education from the University of West Georgia to work with our students on selecting appropriate books, modeling best practices for read alouds, and constructing lesson plans appropriate for the 2nd grade level. Additionally, our grant helped us purchase high-quality children’s books that were written to promote critical thinking and discussion of important topics, such as segregation and immigration. In this poster, we are presenting an overview of the literacy issue, how we connected it to our disparate courses, and the impact these projects had on our Blue Ridge Scholars.