The Catholic University of America

May 6, 2010

Education Majors to Offer Literacy Tips for Local Parents, Teachers

As part of a literacy festival, education majors in the Reading Methods class will present their final exams to the public Friday, May 7, at an exhibit in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center.

The 23 juniors in the class have each chosen a grade level and developmentally-appropriate themes and created lesson plans and book lists to engage students in grades K through 12 in the chosen topic.

The CUA students’ topics include the human impact of a natural disaster on a community, immigration, preventing disease and Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” The students’ projects must be developmentally appropriate for the grade level they choose and be culturally responsive — recognizing the diversity that exists in classrooms with regard to religion, ethnicity, language and gender and planning for materials to embrace the students for who they are, what their beliefs are and where they come from.

“This is an authentic way for our students to showcase their knowledge of effective literacy instruction and materials,” says Kathleen Perencevich, assistant professor of education and instructor for the course. She has organized this event for the last four years.

Perencevich invited area teachers from 15 schools in Washington, D.C., to the festival. It offers them the chance to learn about new ideas for lesson plans and reading lists, she says. The teachers expected to attend are from a mix of Catholic, public and charter schools.

The student projects will be judged by 15 Washington, D.C., area experts. Judges will include staff from the U.S. Senate and area educators. CUA education professors Rona Frederick and Joy Banks, experts in cultural responsiveness in instruction, will judge students on that aspect of their projects. Area parents and children will judge the students on how interesting and engaging they have made their themes.

Students have also created newsletters for parents that offer tips on how to help engage their children in reading. Sophomore education majors will have “story time” for the children who attend.

Graduating seniors will also attend the event to support their peers and submit resumes to principals in attendance.

The event will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. and is open to the public

For more information, contact Perencevich at or call CUA’s Department of Education at 202-319-5800.