Literacy for Democracy
Literacy for Democracy (LFD) works in economically disadvantaged and transitional communities to improve children's and adolescents’ literacy and academic achievement through service learning engagement with university teacher education students.
University teacher education students earn credit for working with grades 3-12 students on service learning projects identified by community stakeholders. As these groups of students collaborate, the teacher education students support younger students’ reading and writing with explicit tutoring and literacy strategies. Project outcomes are shared with the community on the LFD website.
Literacy for Democracy seeks to:
- Empower children and adolescents in grades 3-12 to engage in service to affect positive change in their communities, nation and world.
- Improve children’s and adolescents’ reading and writing and academic achievement through service learning.
- Improve university teacher education candidates’ self-efficacy and well being through sustained service learning and civic engagement with grades 3-12 students.
- Provide university teacher education candidates with concrete experiences working with diverse children and adolescents and thus help future teachers to learn how to more effectively teach diverse students.
Here are few examples of projects that have been developed by UNC Charlotte students in collaboration with K-12 students through Literacy for Democarcy:
- Let Your Imagination Soar! Writing Project. Students at Winecoff Elementary School with help from graduate students in the M.Ed. in Reading program at UNC Charlotte collaborated to create a book or 'Zine of their writing titled Let Your Imagination Soar! This 'Zine includes student writing and some writing tips and how-to's. Copies of this 'Zine along with books, writing supplies and journals were donated to the Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital in Concord, N.C. for patients and family members who want to read and write during their stay at the hospital.
- Kannapolis Family Stories: Past and Present (Spring 2009). Students at Shady Brook Elementary School in Kannapolis, N.C. worked with undergraduate teacher education students to research and publish a book of family stories exploring their community and family history. Below is a copy of their publication.
- I Can Be the Change Public Service Announcements (Summer 2008). These videos were created by Freedom School Scholars at Billingsville Elementary School in Charlotte, N.C. with help from graduate students in READ 6000. Freedom School students brainstormed the ideas for these videos, wrote scripts, video taped, edited and published these.
People Who Make a Difference KidPower Project (Spring 2008). Students at Shady Brook Elementary School in Kannapolis, N.C. worked with undergraduate students in READ 3226 and ELED 3223 to learn about and become people who make a difference. Below is a Power Point created by the Shady Brook students in the KidPower program with information they learned about people who have made a difference. These students went on to create five landscaping and garden projects at Shady Brook Elementary after researching the needs of their school and community.