Two years ago, I began a Young Adult Literacy Lab for immigrant and refugee youth and this summer, Ubuntu Academy will take off once more.
In addition, I've worked instructional activities in two service-learning courses that support teaching Young Adult Literature in local schools. In short, through Ubuntu Academy and the service-learning courses, young people from Congo, Guatemala, Ecuador, Benin and elsewhere have had the opportunity to explore Kwame Alexander's The Crossover, John Dau and Martha Akech's Lost Boy, Lost Girl, Warren St. John's Outcasts United, and Katherine Applegate's Home of the Brave because of these efforts. Whether through graduate coursework, or summer program, it has been an honor bringing literacy opportunities to young people in Connecticut that is the direct result from my doctoral studies, coursework, and other research at Syracuse and Fairfield Universities.
Tonight, my graduate course on Developmental Reading is opening its door to undergraduates at the University so they can learn about summer and school-year programs in support of ESL youth in southern Connecticut. Although I've been asked to discuss the work, I've designed the evening so the conversation and leadership comes from teachers, graduate students, and youth that I work with. This spring semester, my graduate students have been developing curriculum for Home of the Brave while also interacting, albeit it too little, with students in Mr. King's ESL class.
Most impressive about the evening, is the undergraduate arrangement for students to make donations to a book drive from their meal cards, which will be available at the event. The young women who organized the event are enrolled in a communication course where they, too, are looking to put their scholarship in action.