‘Read Across the World’ promotes literacy and cultural awareness at local school

Published by adviser, Author: Jocelyne Lemay - Rocket Contributor, Date: November 12, 2014
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Last Friday, the Slippery Rock chapter of Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), the international honors society for education majors, hosted “Read Across the World,” at Slippery Rock Elementary School. Read Across the World (RAW) is a cultural event that incorporates stories from around the world to promote cultural awareness through literacy and literacy activities.

Early childhood and special education major, Lauren Holland, 21, an executive board member of KDP responsible for putting together the event, explained that each student rotates through different countries getting a “paper passport” stamped as they go through the event.

Holland and another executive of KDP, early childhood and special education major, Nicole Short, 21, hosted RAW at Moraine Elementary School last semester, which marked the first time the two had ever done the event. The pair were only able to work with two grades, so this semester they decided to try and hold the event at Slippery Rock Elementary School.

 “Their Principal, Mr. Basham, was very helpful and allowed us to bring this event to the whole school,” Short said. Basham wanted the Short and Holland to triple the amount of rooms they did at Moraine Elementary from six to 18 in total, and they did just that.

 The goal of the group is to work with Moraine Elementary in the spring and Slippery Rock Elementary in the fall, if each of the schools will have them back in the years to come. “That way whenever we came back around next year, the students would have moved up a grade and would get to explore different countries,” Short said.

 As KDP was getting ready to hold the event they had an agenda of things to accomplish including what countries got assigned to what room, and what book and craft would accompany the room’s theme. Short said that they worked with each room leader to look at the book and figure out at which grade level it would be acceptable for, and that each of the books went with a specific country.

 Short and Holland both took part in finding the books for the countries; however, they did have some room leaders who chose a book themselves, and it was up to them to choose what type of literacy activity to do with the students.

 “For instance, France uses the book ‘Madeline’ and the children do a walking tour of France within their classroom,” Holland said. “They then have to pick a favorite building they saw on their tour, draw it, and then explain why they liked it best.”

 Short and Holland will both be student teaching next semester, and moving on to graduate in May. The pair have passed down RAW to three members of KDP who they feel will be very capable of hosting the event.

 “We are hoping to help them set up again at Moraine Elementary,” Holland said. “That way we can have children participating in RAW during both semesters, spring at Moraine and fall in the Slippery Rock Area.”

 Short and Holland were thrilled with the positive feedback they received.

 “I know both Lauren and I are very proud of the event, and are grateful that we had the opportunity to lead such an event,” Short said.

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