Southeast Missouri State University student publication

S-MSTA literacy walk aids education majors and Cape community students

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Student teachers at Southeast helped local Elementary school students improve reading during a recent event.

Members of the Student Missouri State Teaching Association (S-MSTA) walked and read with Jefferson Elementary School students, as part of their professional development.

A literacy walk is an outdoor reading event that allows students to engage in a big book on stakes instead of in book form, S-MSTA advisor Dr. Larry Bohannon said.

At the walk, students are paired with a partner and greeted by a member of S-MSTA. They walk around an open field that is lined with wooden stakes bearing excerpts from books along the perimeter for students to engage in. Organization members walk with students and listen as they read and comprehend the story on the card before moving on to the next one. At the end of the walk, each student is rewarded with a book of their choice and candy for participation.

S-MSTA member Rachel Stewart said the students do not even realize that they are learning anything because it is a fun activity. The event helps promote the competency of word association and picture connection to help improve their reading, she said.

Stewart organization allows education majors to be closely involved with students in the Cape Girardeau community.

Southeast student Garrett Orr, a teacher candidate for Jefferson Elementary school and S-MSTA, said the literacy walk not only helps the elementary school participants, but it also allows aspiring teachers to fulfill graduation requirements.

After completing the Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGea) and being accepted into the teacher education program majors are broken into four different block groups. The first being literacy, the second is content, the third is advance, and the fourth is student teaching. After the completion of each block, education majors are ready to graduate.

Jefferson Elementary School kindergarten teacher Katie Stagner said it is nice for her students to interact with college students and the literacy walk has allowed them to have a change of scenery and movement outside of the classroom.

“It is nice for them to see people who are in college so they can kind of put a face with it and see that higher education is a great thing for them to strive for,” Stagner said. “I think it's great, too, because they can see there are other people out there that love learning just as much as their teachers in your school do.”