Henderson, Nev. – Nevada State College (NSC) professor of education, Dr. Kevin Graziano has taken the lead in developing an innovative community-based learning program that fosters student volunteerism and also provides a valuable hands-on approach to teaching and learning.
Two years ago, Dr. G., as his NSC students call him, developed a curriculum for his Second Language Acquisition course requiring students to volunteer 10 hours per semester in the Clark County READS initiative, a program which promotes the importance of literacy by providing quality literacy programs to children and families.
Not only did I want my students to gain practical experience working with English language learners, but I also wanted them to experience the value of giving back to the community, said Dr. Graziano.
Students were asked to read to English language learners (ELL) at two schools with a high ELL population, Brown Middle School and Robert Taylor Elementary. The students also developed case studies that allowed the ELL students to photograph images that best represented their educational experiences and everyday realities as English language learners in Clark County.
As a result, the NSC students were able to acquire valuable knowledge about the struggles and joys of being an English language learner in Nevada.
Program Manager for Clark County READS, Curtis Jones stated, Kevin has a great partnership with Clark County School District and the Public Education Foundation to help combat literacy. His efforts should be applauded.
This year, Dr. Graziano introduced his students to another innovative program of giving. The students were asked to submit their assignments electronically to save the traditional costs associated with printing and paper consumption. They were then asked to correlate their perceived savings and voluntarily procure general school supplies that would be donated to needy schools within the East Region.
I applaud college students helping elementary students that’s fantastic! said Robert Alfaro, who serves as the school district’s East Region Superintendent.
Alfaro identified two schools that would greatly benefit from the donations. The program, which began at the beginning of the 2006 fall semester, has already generated five boxes containing a diverse assortment of school supplies.
Dr. Graziano added that he is gratified that his students not only embraced the spirit of volunteerism, but also responded beyond his expectations.
For more information on Nevada State College, call: 702. 992.2000 or visit: nsc.edu.