By Elizabeth Swaggerty
When East Carolina University’s Center for Biodiversity and Department of Biology solicited groups to host tables at the East Carolina University Earth Day Expo, the Tar River Reading Council of Eastern North Carolina (TRRC) jumped on the opportunity. It seemed like the perfect outreach opportunity to connect reading and science with teachers and children in the community during after school hours. The presence of a reading organization at a NC Science Festival event seemed especially appropriate and timely given the emphasis on the role of literacy across content areas. See the Common Core State Standards (see English/Language Arts standards for reading informational text here: http://www.corestandards.org/) and the Next Generation Science Standards (see:http://www.reading.org/reading-today/research/post/lrp/2014/03/19/next-generation-science-standards#.U1g91_ldXzg).
On April 8, 2014, the Tar River Reading Council booth was stocked with earth day-themed books, balloons, bookmarks, markers, suckers, and a large picnic blanket for the read alouds. Over the course of a few hours, around three hundred children came to the expo. In addition to exploring plants, animals, insects, fossils, rocks, and minerals, children came to our booth to listen to incredible earth day read alouds by local teachers and to color bookmarks to take home. Tar River Reading Council members Terry Atkinson (professor), Stacy Weiss (professor), Denise Owens (instructional coach), Juli Jaquith (teacher), Lori Moore (teacher), Courtney Adkins (instructional coach), Wanda Washington (teacher), Deidra Morrison (teacher) and I participated as readers for the event.
We had a great time sharing great science books with kids and look forward to participating again next year!
TRRC Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TRRCouncil
Elizabeth Swaggerty is an active member and former president of her local reading chapter and a member of NCRA and IRA. She is currently serving as a member of the IRA Task Force on Teacher Preparation for Literacy Instruction. She is an Associate Professor of Reading Education at East Carolina University.