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                Student at Work

"This CLP volunteer has worked with me since last spring, and we are practically in a symbiotic relationship.  She works with small groups, she manages the entire class, she does a large amount of prep work and anticipates what is needed.  She is such a positive influence in my class and a help to me.  I'd be sunk without her."  -- CLP partner school classroom teacher

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 Participants

The Community Literacy Program welcomes  students at any stage of their UW education, and from any department on campus. Past students have ranged from 18 to 67 years old, from first quarter freshmen to graduating seniors in majors including English, Psychology, Art, Math, Biology, Social Work, Biochemistry, Classics, Informatics, Communication, Economics and International Studies.   Students need not have tutored before, and need not be planning to become teachers.

Community Literacy Program is, however, an excellent way to satisfy the field work requirement for the Education, Learning and Society Minor, or to work toward classroom hours required for application to Masters in Teaching Programs.  CLP alumni have gone on to teach in many of the United States as well as in Brazil, Mexico, China and beyond.

Because of the frequent conferences and small class size for the Community Literacy Program, instruction is individualized.  Because of the combination of experiential and academic approaches, the program works well for students with a wide variety of learning styles.

In the Words of CLP Participants

CLP school site principal: "The Community Literacy students are full members of our school community by the second week of the quarter.... It is a pleasure to see how insightful they are, and how dedicated to the educational process they become. Elizabeth is caring and candid in working with her students and with me throughout each quarter so that we can collaborate on solving problems. Normal situational challenges become tools for learning for her students, as well as ours.  The benefits to our students are enormous.  Our faculty has come to depend on the Community Literacy students as true partners in teaching."

CLP student, Sophomore: "I appreciated the importance of realizing our role in volunteering.  We were not to view this as "poor them" or simply record what we were doing.  I realized the more in-depth issues of what was happening at the school.  For example, not just observing the diversity of the school, but looking into how the diversity affects education, and the opportunities and challenges teachers, students and volunteers have due to diversity."

CLP student, Junior, Biology: "Since coming to the U.S., I have been afraid of taking English class because English is not my first language.  With this service learning class, I feel a lot more confidence in learning English.  By having the opportunity to work with bilingual students, I share their experience and I learn with them."

CLP partner school classroom teacher:  "My students love having a college student come into the classroom, especially since I am an older teacher.  They love the youth and energy.  They miss the CLP student when the time is over, but the benefit of having them in the classroom over-rides this problem."

Page last updated   1-22-2015
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