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Reading Under Construction: Building Community Partnerships for Literacy
Unformatted Document Text:  The conference strand, Picturing Expanded Alliances, speaks to the idea that teacher education needs to draw upon the wealth of available community resources if weare to ensure that candidates are prepared to succeed in today’s schools and make apositive impact on student learning. The alliances developed for the summer readingclinic allow candidates the opportunity to participate in the type of collaborativerelationships they must be prepared to develop and to see the growth in student learningthat results from these relationships. Candidates begin their reading clinic experience bycontacting families and arranging for pre-clinic interviews with parents and students.Information about each student is gathered from the student’s classroom teacher and usedby the candidate to develop plans for the summer clinic. Each candidate works withRotary Club volunteers to plan read aloud experiences and opportunities for volunteers toshare career information. Candidates communicate regularly with social workers to seekand share pertinent information that can be used to enhance student learning. D. Relevance Implications for Policy There are several implications for policy for other teacher education programs.• Schools and colleges of education need to look for innovative ways to allow candidates to have clinical experiences where they can freely use best practices inassessment and instruction. Developing campus-based programs in collaborationwith the community is one way to make this happen. • Teacher candidates need to have opportunities for successful experiences working with community resource people and families. Many times, in a typical fieldsetting, this is difficult to achieve. A summer, campus-based program canprovide candidates with the opportunities to develop these collaborativerelationships and see the resulting benefits. • Schools and colleges of education need to make a positive impact on the communities and schools where they “do business”. A summer program forstudents that is part of the teacher education curriculum is a way to make thishappen. Successful Practices The summer reading clinic program has been identified by area schools for its exemplary practice and has made a positive impact on schools and students. This isevidenced by the growth in the program over the past ten years. The number of studentsserved by the program and the number of teacher candidates electing to stay on campusto participate in this experience has grown each summer. Four years ago, a “satellite”program at a K-6 school was developed to help address the needs of students in a remoteschool district in the county. Teachers were trained by college reading clinic instructorsand worked side by side with teacher candidates during the first year of this program.This program has now evolved into a self-sustaining program for this school district.Student literacy growth during the reading clinic has spurred a strong interest in the FourBlocks model on the part of area K-3 teachers, resulting in a grass roots movement toimplement the program in their classrooms. Several teachers have observed summerclinic classrooms, allowing them to gain first-hand knowledge of the program that they

Authors: Erb, Dorothy., Mowrer, Cathy., Oliver, Pamela. and Backus, Carolyn.
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The conference strand, Picturing Expanded Alliances, speaks to the idea that
teacher education needs to draw upon the wealth of available community resources if we
are to ensure that candidates are prepared to succeed in today’s schools and make a
positive impact on student learning. The alliances developed for the summer reading
clinic allow candidates the opportunity to participate in the type of collaborative
relationships they must be prepared to develop and to see the growth in student learning
that results from these relationships. Candidates begin their reading clinic experience by
contacting families and arranging for pre-clinic interviews with parents and students.
Information about each student is gathered from the student’s classroom teacher and used
by the candidate to develop plans for the summer clinic. Each candidate works with
Rotary Club volunteers to plan read aloud experiences and opportunities for volunteers to
share career information. Candidates communicate regularly with social workers to seek
and share pertinent information that can be used to enhance student learning.
D. Relevance
Implications for Policy
There are several implications for policy for other teacher education programs.
• Schools and colleges of education need to look for innovative ways to allow
candidates to have clinical experiences where they can freely use best practices in
assessment and instruction. Developing campus-based programs in collaboration
with the community is one way to make this happen.
• Teacher candidates need to have opportunities for successful experiences working
with community resource people and families. Many times, in a typical field
setting, this is difficult to achieve. A summer, campus-based program can
provide candidates with the opportunities to develop these collaborative
relationships and see the resulting benefits.
• Schools and colleges of education need to make a positive impact on the
communities and schools where they “do business”. A summer program for
students that is part of the teacher education curriculum is a way to make this
happen.
Successful Practices
The summer reading clinic program has been identified by area schools for its
exemplary practice and has made a positive impact on schools and students. This is
evidenced by the growth in the program over the past ten years. The number of students
served by the program and the number of teacher candidates electing to stay on campus
to participate in this experience has grown each summer. Four years ago, a “satellite”
program at a K-6 school was developed to help address the needs of students in a remote
school district in the county. Teachers were trained by college reading clinic instructors
and worked side by side with teacher candidates during the first year of this program.
This program has now evolved into a self-sustaining program for this school district.
Student literacy growth during the reading clinic has spurred a strong interest in the Four
Blocks model on the part of area K-3 teachers, resulting in a grass roots movement to
implement the program in their classrooms. Several teachers have observed summer
clinic classrooms, allowing them to gain first-hand knowledge of the program that they


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