Mount wraps up first session of literacy workshop

Second session starts August 14
August 11, 2017

Melissa Gigliotti of Wappingers Falls, N.Y., a Mount Saint Mary College graduate student on the education track, learns a new literacy technique during the recent Mount workshop.


Mount Saint Mary College’s Collaborative for Equity in Literacy Learning (CELL) wrapped up the first session of a two-week literacy workshop for educators on August 11.

The workshops are focusing on the Picturing Writing and Image Making techniques. To a casual observer, it might look like an art class. But according to technique developer Beth Olshansky, these techniques help meet the literacy needs of students with diverse learning styles.

The first week-long session focused on the Image-Making technique, which uses picture books as mentor texts to teach the art of writing. Students create picture books, often tied to the science or social studies curriculum, using their own portfolio of hand-painted papers. The art always precedes the writing, explained Olshansky.

The second session, devoted to Picturing Writing, will take place August 14-18. Picturing Writing gives students access to multiple modalities for thinking and expressing their ideas. It can be used to address English language arts core standards in a way that reaches a wide range of learners, and is easily integrated into the social studies and science curriculum.

There’s still time to attend this second session. Register online by visiting and clicking the “Picturing Writing” tab on the left. For more information, email or call 845-569-3431.

Established in 2012, CELL provides tutoring and out-of-school literacy activities for children pre-school to grade 12 with a focus on reading, conversation, and activities. It explores multicultural books, offers family literacy programs, and more. Each semester about 60 Mount teacher candidates, graduate and undergraduate, help instill a love of reading in local youth as part of their community fieldwork requirement.

Mount literacy programs are held in the Newburgh Armory on Saturday mornings, weekday mornings in the summertime, and weekday afternoons during the fall and spring semesters. Other events, such as Family Literacy Night, are held throughout the year.