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CLP Student at Work

A Partner School Perspective on the CLP Curriculum:

"I wish I'd known about the CLPreader when I switched from an expensive private school.  It covers much of what every new teacher to the school district should read: journal articles and information on school testing, classroom issues, diversity, economic and health issues, students of poverty and much more.  It has taken me thirty years working with a wide variety of students and avidly reading about educational issues to work as effectively as I do, and Dr. Simmons-O'Neill has distilled that reading and experience into the CLP class and its reader, sending out students who are strong and effective helpers in the classroom." –
Partner School


For more information, contact

Elizabeth Simmons-O'Neill
Community Literacy Program

Padelford A-14
English, Box 354330
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 685-3804

The Curriculum

The Community Literacy Program offers a unique opportunity to combine academic research with experiential learning, bringing the two together through discussion, presentation and writing. Participants re-examine their own lives as students in addition to reading and writing about current issues in American education, such as the nature and purpose of schooling, Common Core State Standards, literacy, conflict and discipline, assessment and accountability, rapidly changing demographics, the nature and construction of "at risk" status, the importance of early childhood education and out-of-school literacy, and the role of civic engagement in public education. 

Group projects focus on presenting and analyzing the programs where students volunteer, and on teaching lessons to their classmates on campus.  Final projects allow students to define a subject for in-depth case-based research. 

All major writing assignments are discussed in individual conferences with the instructor and in peer groups, with training in relevant library research provided by Education librarians. 

Community Literacy Program combine English 298, which may be used toward either the Composition ("C") or Additional Writing ("W") requirement, with English 491: Internship.

CLP Students Reflect on the Program

"Since the second quarter of my sophomore year, Community Literacy Program has developed my sense of belonging and my connection to other passionate tutors in this vast campus.... Apart from the theoretical support from the textbook and instructor, I am greatly motivated by my passion for growing with these young students. They quickly helped me get incorporated into the class, and as we read together, they fully understood that I might not be familiar with American children’s must-read books, and introduced them with great patience. Their eagerness to share what they have recently read and their writing assignments enriched my limited tutoring time....Volunteering in their class was the best decision I have made in my college career so far, and it will surely have inspiring and emotional impact on my study and attitude toward diverse perspectives."    -- CLP international student, Junior, Computer Science and Engineering

"CLP was truly an unparallelled success in my learning here at UW. Never have I experienced a wider range of issues, attitudes, beliefs and people.  My new found appreciation for and understanding of education and society stems directly from my experience with CLP and the help, guidance and motivation of Elizabeth."  -- CLP student, Junior, International Studies

"I would really like to convey how much I feel I have benefited from being a part of such a wonderful program.  I have made new friends, both at the university and at the elementary school.  I have built relationships with teachers, professors and administrators.  Most importantly, however, I have been exposed to diversity on various levels and seen the connection between part of my college experience and the real world, which I think is something that few college students experience. Often, I feel college students like myself find themselves simply going through the motions on their way to earning a degree.  The Community Literacy Program has provided me with real life application of material learned in the classroom, and classroom application of my life experience.  Being able to experience this during this stage of my life has helped change the way I think for the better, and for that I am truly blessed.”  -- CLP student, Senior, Comparative History of Ideas

"Throughout my years of experience working with children, this is the first time I have recorded meaningful experiences and thought about how those experiences will influence the future."  -- CLP student, Senior, Anthropology

"The combination of classroom experience and a wide variety of reflections really pulled everything together and made it feel extremely meaningful.  It made me fully aware of what I was learning and how, and the effect it was having on my work in the classrooms." -- CLP student, Senior, English

Page last updated  1-22-2015

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