14:47 PM

Ready, Set, Read! UHD Students Participate in Readathon


By Mike Emery

A team of University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) students is hoping to open new chapters in the lives of Houston-area children.

Approximately 20 Urban Education students from UHD's College of Public Service will participate in a readathon as part of the International Literacy Day Saturday, Sept. 9.

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., students will read children's books aloud for young audiences at Hogg Middle Middle School (1100 Merrill St.). The readathon is part of the Friends of the Houston Public Library Annual Book Sale. Proceeds from this sale will benefit library branches that were damaged by Tropical Storm Harvey.

The event not only supports area library branches, said Diane Miller, assistant professor of literacy. Both children in attendance and UHD's Urban Education students also benefit from the interactive experience of sharing stories.

"It always is helpful for young audiences to hear a book read aloud. It helps them develop language proficiency, increase their vocabulary skills and understand story structure," Miller said. "Our students will read the book from cover to cover and will offer a collaborative experience for children. The UHD students will ask them about what's happening in the stories or what will happen next. This is a technique that they will use in their respective classrooms when they become teachers."

Following Saturday's Event, UHD student participants will complete surveys based on their experiences reading aloud to children, as well as their recollections of having books recited to them as youngsters. Findings will be presented at the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers Conference that will take place Nov. 2 - 5 in St. Petersburg, Florida.