English students perform service-learning projects in local schools

Posted on: April 11, 2014

A group of TWC English students taking the college's "Books and Related Materials for Children" course are currently performing various service-learning projects that will help local children foster the child-book connection.

A group of Tennessee Wesleyan College English students taking the college’s “Books and Related Materials for Children” course are currently performing various service-learning projects that will help local children foster the child-book connection. Each English student taking the course must perform ten hours of community service implementing a project with a community partner.

While some of the students worked at the Young Authors Conference in Etowah, Tenn., at the end of February, others are working one-on-one with teachers in local schools and pre-schools.

A group of five students, Laura Laurence, Kevin Montgomery, Jesse Henry, Mary Roop, and Kinsley Vincent, are working with North City Elementary School’s Reading Coach Kerri Lawson to put together a list of literature to support North City’s science and social studies curricula for grades 3-5.

“With the new Common Core standards, we are moving toward a more integrated style of teaching,” said Lawson. “Many of our teachers are wanting to teach reading through their science and social studies and would love to have a list of literature that would support their science and social studies curricula, books that they could also use to teach the children both reading and writing skills.”

Lawson and the group of TWC English students met at North City on Tuesday, April 8, to look at the new standards for grades 3 to 5 and determine the topics each grade is covering. They then identified reading and writing skills they wanted the North City students to accomplish through science and social studies. The students worked independently and used the school’s pacing guide and Common Core standards to develop activities and lessons to go with their chosen literature.

Classroom teachers at North City will use the lists of recommended books and the lesson plans that the TWC students put together.

"This project is one in which I wish all my students could participate,” Dr. Elizabeth Ruleman, TWC associate professor of English. “It is a perfect example of what we hope the service-learning designated classes can achieve. The students correlate what they have learned in the college classroom with what they learn working in the local school system. They research, make connections, think critically and creatively, and write up their findings.

"These five students are truly learning through doing, and I hope this process will help them grow into excellent practitioners of the profession they have chosen."

For more information on this service-learning project or TWC’s Department of English, contact Dr. Elizabeth Ruleman by phone at 423-746-5247 or email at esruleman@twcnet.edu.