Co-written by David Layne (Professor of Business)
and Jessica Grimes (Associate Professor of English)
1. Strengthen Reading Skills across the Curriculum
Often, student success depends on comprehending reading material, ranging from expository to technical texts. Providing faculty with a list of reading strategies for their courses will promote campus-wide literacy.
2. Expand Vocabulary Knowledge
In the fall semester (2010), English, ESL, and reading faculty plan to incorporate the Academic Word List in vocabulary instruction for foundational courses. Through explicit instruction and multiple exposures, students will learn the meaning and use of vocabulary through integrated reading and writing assignments.
3. Expose Students to Non-fiction and Fiction Material
Access to a variety of reading material develops background knowledge necessary for academic and cultural literacy. Therefore, we plan to host an ongoing book drive supported by faculty, staff, and students whose donations will create a collection of free books available for students.
4. Develop a “Take a Book; Leave a Book” Program
Books collected from the on-going book drive will be collected for the “Take a Book; Leave a Book” program, similar to the program developed by California State University, Bakersfield. Each semester, bookcases will be filled (and refilled) for student use.
5. Familiarize Students with Grammatical and Mechanical Skills in Reading and Writing
Knowledge of grammar, syntax, and mechanics are identified as integral components of reading comprehension. Supplying students, Supplemental Instructional Assistants (SIs), and tutors with stock cards of common grammatical errors will support literacy. As students’ knowledge of grammar increases, so will their reading comprehension.
6. Resurrect the Literary Magazine
Professor Geoffrey Dyer currently teaches creative writing and will be resurrecting a dormant literary magazine in the fall of 2010. Creative writing classes have been running for two years and have produced a strong enough core of writers to support the magazine’s revitalization. Our RIAP team fully backs this effort and eagerly anticipates its first edition as a demonstration of literacy and creativity thriving on our campus.
7. Provide Support for Mastery in Dual Language Literacy
Professor Kulzer has revamped the ESL program over the past two years to make English acquisition an achievable goal for English Language Learners (ELL). Additionally, Professor Julian Martinez offers multiple levels of Spanish for students. Their combined efforts not only show but also support multiple language literacy here. We would like to see outreach efforts in the form of in-service training for instructional staff on fostering and encouraging multiple language literacy.
8. Order High-Interest Books to Attract English/ESL Readers
A powerful way to gain literacy is through reading. A powerful way to get people to read is to entice them with various kinds of reading materials, covering a wide range of topics, and written to engage readers at many levels. High-interest books are an essential component for acquiring literacy and for expanding vocabulary knowledge.
9. Distribute Stock Cards with Language Templates from They Say/I Say
Stock cards and book marks are inexpensive and focused devices, useful in our campaign for literacy. Our team was impressed with the power of They Say, I Say in helping students to develop their writing literacy because it is filled with readily adaptable frames and templates for stock cards and book marks. These can be easily and inexpensively reproduced and distributed to students, Supplemental Instructors, and tutors to become part of their strategic toolkit.
10. Dedicate a Classroom for Reading and Literacy Needs
Ideally, we would like to see a classroom or facility space dedicated to reading and literacy. This would be the place to go for references, resources, and materials focused on literacy, literacy acquisition, and skill development. Reading materials for all levels and ELL reading materials (side-by-side texts, language literary, high interest graded reading texts, etc.) would be available here as a “one stop literacy shop.”