Preservice Teachers Collaborating with Families to Foster Global Literacy Connections

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Involving parents in the development of their children’s literacy and global perspectives is a goal of schools and educators. Studies directed at increasing parental involvement in their children’s academic pursuits reveal the need for developing culturally responsive programs to support learning among and about diverse groups. Twenty-three pre-service teachers enrolled in social studies methods classes at Buffalo State College worked collaboratively to produce a Global Literacy Fair at an urban-based elementary school. The participatory events created for the fair were provided in conjunction with a community after school program. Two social studies methods instructors collaborated with the teachers and administrators of a Buffalo-based Professional Development Site (PDS) to engage teacher candidates in the planning and implementation of a Global Literacy Fair. Developed over the spring 2009 semester, the fair attracted over 87 parents and caretakers and children who participated in a variety of activities designed to enhance appreciation of cultural traditions from across the globe as they simultaneously enhanced their notions of literacy and how it is developed. Events yielded a positive venue for teacher candidates to interact with parents and children and demonstrated ways literacy and cross-cultural understandings can be successfully and appreciatively supported at home.


Keywords: Global Literacy, Family Engagement, Preservice Teachers
Stream: Teacher Training and Professional Development
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Preservice Teachers Collaborating with Families to Foster Global Literacy Connections


Dr. Nancy A. Chicola

Associate Professor, Department of Elementary Education and Reading,
School of Education, State University of New York, College at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY, USA

Dr. Chicola has made use of her educational and professional background to present workshops and papers at national and international conferences, write articles for professional journals, and co-author two books for practitioners dealing with children's literature and social studies. "Discovering World Geography with Books Kids Love" and "Creating Caring Communities with Books Kids Love" both focus on K -- 6 social studies standards and children's literature. Other publications include articles that feature children's literature as well as the arts as means to deliver social studies content in elementary classrooms. Additional areas of research include curriculum and strategies for program delivery in teacher education and urban and rural education issues.

Dr. Maria Ceprano

Professor, School of Education
Department of Elementary Education and Reading, State University of New York, College at Buffalo

Buffalo, New York, USA

Maria Ceprano, Ph.D. is a professor in the Elementary Education and Reading Department at Buffalo State College. Her professional experiences include several years of teaching at the elementary school level, as well as administering a language arts program for a public school district. Dr. Ceprano has served on several college and university faculties where her instructional focus has been literacy instruction and assessment. Articles written by Dr. Ceprano have appeared in such refereed journals as The Reading Teacher, The Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Reading Research and Instruction, and the Reading Research Quarterly.

Ref: L09P1656