Literacy Junction: Bringing children, teachers and reading together
"I want to make schools a better place," says Prudence Cuper, assistant professor of education at Keene State. According to Cuper, educating teachers about how to help students feel good about themselves - and how to participate in class - is an important step toward making the classroom a better place to be.
One domain that most of today's students feel comfortable with is computer technology. Cuper believes that integrating this technology with education is essential. This view is evident in the website she has developed, Literacy Junction, which helps adolescents become interested in reading through using the internet. Students are able to create characters on the site, which Cuper says often resemble their creators. The site has also welcomed students from Canada and Russia. "It gives the kids an opportunity to see what would be considered a typical adolescent from another culture," she explains.
"We have great students here (at Keene State)," says Cuper, to which she attributes her fondness of the college, along with her colleagues' interest in each other's work. She plans to conduct future research on students' sense of self in the classroom, to determine what factors contribute to their willingness to participate.
Cuper is also is preparing to take over as director of Keene State's renowned Children's Literature Festival. Dr. David White, the current director, has run the event since its inception in 1978. Among this year's featured speakers at the festival are Cynthia DeFelice and Olivier Dunrea (www.keene.edu/clf).
Photo credit Julio DelSesto