Many people do not think of college classes as an avenue to make a real difference in their community. Yet for the students of EDT 350, it was.
Treavor Bogard, associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education, had students team up with local and international organizations to develop and research books relevant to their particular organization in an effort to give practical experience that still teaches the core concepts intersecting the usual “exploration of…literature genres in this course” with “real-world, real-time needs of literacy programs” according to the course syllabus.
Two of the four student groups provided help for Conscious Connect, a nonprofit created in 2015 to mobilize Dayton neighborhoods around urban education and literacy. One group helped to build a library of books featuring diverse characters for underrepresented youth to the organization, while the other discovered female empowerment books for young girls. Of the remaining two student groups, one worked with the Kiser PreK-6 School in Dayton to create library with multicultural literature and characters for its large ethnic student population. And the fourth group found books to be put on a mobile book platform to be taken to young children in Malawi, Africa.
Brittany Resar ’20, a student of Bogard’s class, noted the difficulty for many adolescent girls to find strong female role models in children’s literature. She feels that “they [young girls] may not know who to look to” and may become “pressured to succumb to some of the stereotypical roles of women.”
Molly Cleary ’19, another student of the class, says that if children can “find books that are inspiring” it “allow[s] students to find their passion and success” from people that look and act more like them.
The students created crowdfunding pages for all of their efforts to help fund their childhood literacy project. For more information, follow the links below: