(L-R) SIUE’s Brian Johnson, PhD, stands alongside Gordon Bush Elementary’s Carmalita Neely, SIUE senior Abigail Cline, and Gordon Bush Elementary’s Gloria Oggero.

EDWARDSVILLE - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville teacher candidates are gaining hands-on experience while boosting reading fluency and comprehension in East. St. Louis elementary school students in kindergarten, first and second grades through the Everybody Reads and Writes Project at Gordon Bush Elementary School.

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Spring and summer 2018 mark the first time the School of Education, Health and Human Behavior’s (SEHHB) teacher education program and Gordon Bush Elementary’s partnership has involved elementary teacher candidates assisting in Gordon Bush Elementary reading specialists’ early reading remediation efforts.

Supervisors include SEHHB Assistant Professor of Reading and Literacy Brian Johnson, PhD, as well as Gordon Bush Elementary Literacy Instructional Coach Carmalita Neely and School Improvement Grants (SIG) On Site Administrator Gloria Oggero.

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SIUE students involved include Abigail Cline and Andrea Luce, of Bethalto; Terri McFadden, of Chicago; Jordan Crane, of Glen Carbon; and Alyssa Tayloe, of Collinsville. All are slated to graduate in May 2019.

“This volunteer work serves to increase student achievement in reading and writing,” Johnson said. “It also provides SIUE volunteers opportunities to apply reading and writing instructional strategies they have learned in their elementary education methods courses.”

“The work of our students at Gordon Bush Elementary exemplifies our commitment to high impact community engagement practices,” added SEHHB Interim Dean Paul Rose, PhD. “These types of volunteering activities provide our students hands-on learning and elementary students with improved literacy skills. Everybody wins in partnerships like this.”

According to Johnson, further opportunities for this work are available in the 2018-19 academic year for teacher candidates interested in teaching reading and writing to elementary students.

The SIUE School of Education, Health and Human Behavior prepares students in a wide range of fields including public health, exercise science, nutrition, instructional technology, psychology, speech-language pathology and audiology, educational administration, and teaching. Faculty members engage in leading-edge research, which enhances teaching and enriches the educational experience. The School supports the community through on-campus clinics, outreach to children and families, and a focused commitment to enhancing individual lives across the region.

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