Project to Enlist 30 Ed Students
Thirty Smith undergraduate and
graduate students in education and child development will
act as the research and development team on a two-year project
to create innovative approaches to elementary school literacy.
The project is funded by a $200,000 grant from the Massachusetts
Department of Education to the Mohawk Trail Regional School
and, in addition to Smith students, will involve the Eric
Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, and the Hampshire
Educational Collaborative in Northampton.
Under the direction of Susan M. Etheredge, associate professor
of education and child study, the Smith education students
will develop technology-enhanced curriculum and instructional
units based on picture books for the use of teachers at the
Mohawk Trail Regional School. Called “Picture Writers:
Promoting Literacy Through Picture Book Art and Literature,”
the project seeks to improve writing and reading comprehension
in the region. “The goal of Picture Writers is to develop
a model literacy program that fosters a love of reading, writing,
and art in elementary school children,” says Etheredge.
During the month of January and throughout the summer, Etheredge
will lead professional development workshops for the Mohawk
School teachers in literacy research and practice. During
the spring, elementary students and teachers will create
technology-enriched units and materials that reflect what
they have learned about picture book art and literature. The
materials will be in multimedia formats and will include writing
samples, videos, and photos; the materials will be collected
and stored on CDs for use by educators.