Young students share self-written, illustrated books through Mount lit program

May 04, 2017

Proud elementary and middle school students read their self-published and illustrated books to their families on May 3 at Mount Saint Mary College. The young students were tutored by Mount Saint Mary College teacher candidates. The sessions were overseen by professors Janine Bixler and Rebecca Norman.


Nearly two dozen local children shared their self-written and published stories featuring a wintertime theme at a Mount Saint Mary College literacy program on May 3.

Under the tutelage of 20 Mount teacher candidates, the children – kindergarteners to sixth graders – spent the semester writing and illustrating their books at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center before presenting excerpts to their friends and families. There was a 1:1 student-teacher ratio, allowing for in-depth, personalized learning opportunities for each child.

For the children, the sessions afforded one-on-one tutoring and increased their literacy skills in a fun and engaging way. For the Mount teacher candidates, the graduate level course was a hands-on experience in real-world teaching.

The Mount course was taught by Janine Bixler, professor and chair of the Mount’s Division of Education, and Rebecca Norman, associate professor of education.

The Mount teacher candidates utilized the Picturing Writing technique. According to Bixler and Norman, by creating a picture of their subject first, students can more easily express themselves through writing.

“By improving their literacy, we’re giving these young students life skills, not just school skills,” said Bixler.