As the pep rally ended, students were cheering, clapping and bouncing in their seats in Goodyear Elementary School’s cafeteria.
All were excited to embark on a semester-long effort to become better readers.
Goodyear Elementary has partnered with a cohort of early education majors at College of Coastal Georgia this year, and the college students will work with students in Goodyear’s after-school program to improve their reading skills.
“Today we’re doing our pep rally, trying to get these students hyped up for reading and for what they’re going to be looking forward to doing later on,” said Felicia Bryant, a senior early education major at CCGA.
The CCGA education majors will first assess the elementary students’ current reading abilities and begin to devise strategies to improve their reading levels.
“We’ll also be choosing books on their levels or a little higher, so we can give them different types of strategies to help them further develop their reading,” Bryant said.
The CCGA students will visit Goodyear’s after-school program every Tuesday and Thursday.
The goal will be to help the Goodyear students, who range in age from preschool to fifth grade, reach a higher reading level, or show growth.
“It’s guided reading, where we’re going to create lesson plans, go over books with them and figure out what they need help with while reading,” said Alaina Zubrowski, a CCGA early education major.
Oatanisha Dawson, principal at Goodyear, said this is the first time CCGA students have worked with the after-school program to help its students become visible learners in reading.
“The college is going to teach them how to become reading experts and to monitor their own selves through the reading process,” Dawson said. “Our focus as a district is on literacy, and so … the goal is to improve reading lexiles.”
The partnership also offers CCGA’s education majors an opportunity to receive real-life teaching experience. Each CCGA tutor will work with one to three Goodyear students, which Dawson said is a best-practice when teaching.
“Our job as a school and a program is to introduce students to the love of reading,” Dawson said. “Reading shouldn’t be seen as a chore or as an assignment. It’s a a practical part of your everyday life … Our school’s goal is simply to educate our students so that they will be able to have a choice about their future and have options.”
Spotlight on Schools appears Thursdays. Contact Lauren McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 912-265-8320, ext. 322 to suggest a topic for a column.