21st Century Grant
In order to develop generations of lifelong readers, creative thinkers, and learners, reading needs to be promoted. Through the use of outreach programs, children and parents benefit from additional exposure, instruction, and/or repetition of literacy to further develop their skills. Simultaneously, Niagara University’s students engage in experiential learning where they connect theory to practice and apply what they have learned in their educational coursework.
21st Century Grant Programs
Children’s Book Club
Niagara University students in the Advanced Literacy Program facilitate an Enrichment Book Club for children. This program offers fun, engaging and motivating reading experiences that pair literature with age-appropriate discussions and activities. Students in grades 3-8 from various schools participated in the weekly book club at Niagara University’s Family Literacy Center. During the Spring 2018 semester, 31 children participated, actively reading and engaging with a variety of well-known children’s literature, including: Holes, Big Friendly Giant, Charlotte’s Web, and Bridge to Terabithia.
Parent Literacy Workshops
Niagara University students in the Advanced Literacy Program provide literacy training workshops for parents. Parents are a powerful influence on a child’s literacy development. When parents take an active role in their child’s literacy development, the child becomes a much better reader and writer. These workshops provide parents with the resources, skills, and strategies needed in order to engage in their child’s journey learning and developing literacy. Parents from the community actively participated by attending weekly workshops at Niagara University’s Family Literacy Center. In Spring 2018, 6 parents participated in the workshops weekly, learning how to support their child’s literacy development at home. The content of the workshop varies weekly and covers information including: reading aloud at home, literacy through technology, family game night, supporting literacy at home, and building a love for reading at home.
21st Century Literacy (Secondary)
Undergraduate students in the Niagara University College of Education plan and provide direct instruction lessons that target one of the main areas of literacy (phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension). Tutors have the freedom to teach literacy skills through a variety of approved content areas/ genres. 8th grade students from Gaskill Preparatory School who are enrolled in the PRIDE program participate in weekly lessons.
21st Century Literacy & STEM (Intermediate)
Undergraduate students in the Niagara University College of Education provide lessons aligned to literacy and STEM curriculum. Lessons focus on literacy instruction for the first hour followed by STEM for the second hour. Rich texts and supplemental reading are used as anchors for the lesson and literacy strategies are embedded within for further development. The literacy component drives inquiry and learning during the STEM activity. 20 5th and 6th grade students from Kalfas Elementary School participate lessons exploring topics including: states of matter, Newton’s Laws of Motion, speed and acceleration, and gravity.