“N is for Newburgh”
Young Armory students build literacy through Mount summer program
For dozens of local elementary and middle school students, summertime means fun, sun, and a love of literacy at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center.
Through the Literacy Education Advocacy Program (LEAP), hosted annually at the Armory, graduate Education students from Mount Saint Mary College help children from Newburgh and the surrounding communities build confidence and reading skills, making sure that they’re ready to succeed in school come September. LEAP is built into the grad students’ coursework. As in years past, the collaboration was spearheaded by Janine Bixler, professor of Education at the Mount. This year, she was aided by Brian Kimbark, a second grade teacher at Bishop Dunn Memorial School and an adjunct professor at the Mount. The schedule was intense. Nearly two dozen Mount teacher candidates tutored the kids for four days a week over the course of several weeks. There were two sessions: one for younger children and one for kids approaching their teens. The young students then painted a picture of their subject and wrote a passage about it. On the last day of class, the children presented excerpts to their friends and families, to thunderous rounds of applause. “Many of the students visited the sites themselves and took some photos, too,” explained Kimbark. “Doing everything from the research to the writing was a great experience for them.”
The class utilized the Picturing Writing technique, wherein students paint a picture of their subject first, so they can more easily express themselves through writing. For the children, the sessions afforded in-depth, personalized learning opportunities and increased their literacy skills in a fun and engaging way.
The result, a LEAP into proud publication of their own book “N is for Newburgh”
Caption: A student proudly shows their published book “N is for Newburgh” (Photo by Lee Ferris)
More great stories in this week’s Orange County Post
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