August 14, 2018
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
As rain poured on the Mount Saint Mary College campus on Monday, August 13, professors Janine Bixler and Rebecca Norman used the experience as a teachable moment for nearly two dozen area educators.
To a casual observer, it might have looked like an art class. But as the group painted stormy landscapes using watercolors, they learned how the artistic process can inspire and inform the writing skills of young students.
Bixler and Norman, Mount Education professors, taught the powerful Picturing Writing technique over the course of a weeklong workshop. It was made possible by the Mount’s Collaborative for Equity in Literacy Learning (CELL).
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.
RIGHT: Mount alumna Victoria Campana MSEd ’14, a reading teacher from the Wappingers Central School District, picked up some new techniques to engage her young students in reading and writing.
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.