Students to lead literacy activities at Old Town Elementary

Preservice teacher candidates from the University of Maine’s College of Education and Human Development will put some of what they are learning in their literacy methods courses into practice 5–6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 at literacy night at Old Town Elementary School.

Nearly 30 UMaine students will facilitate 14 reading and language arts lessons, including tongue twisters, rhyming games, news literacy, comprehension strategies and readers’ theatre activities. The night is part of the regular outreach and support programs that school districts, including Old Town-based RSU 34, are required to offer to families of students. For at least three decades, Bangor-area schools have turned to UMaine students to help with this outreach.

“We’ve had hundreds of students participate in literacy nights over the years,” says Dee Nichols, a professor of literacy education, who teaches reading and language arts methods classes for preservice teachers who want to work in elementary schools. “The collaboration works, because it gives our students a chance to try out different teaching strategies for a night and it helps the school and the university fulfill their community service missions.”

In addition to literacy nights, UMaine students have helped lead science and engineering nights and math nights at area schools.

UMaine graduate students — practicing teachers, who are interested in becoming literacy coaches, instructional coaches and school administrators — also will attend, as will representatives from Literacy Volunteers of Bangor.