2016 River Read Children’s Literature Festival--535 third and fourth grade students, 23 teachers, and 16 authors participated in the River Read. 20 Park University teacher candidates volunteered to help with the event. Seven elementary schools from the North Kansas City School District participated.
Social Media-- The Dorothy Harper Watson Literacy Center is active on both Facebook and Pinetrest.
Book Drive—Teacher candidates in the School of Education student organization and the Watson Literacy Center held a campus-wide book drive in the Spring of 2016 to support the Urban Kansas City Literacy Festival. The first annual Urban Kansas City Literacy Festival was was held in South Kansas City May 14, 2016. The Literacy Festival was part of a three-day basketball tournament hosted by the Nets Developmental League. Children who attend school in the Grandview, Raytown, Center, and Hickman-Mills districts received the 2, 475 books donated by the Watson Literacy Center and Park University.
Pathfinder Elementary/Park University Partnership—Watson Literacy Center Director Dr. Shannon Cuff, principal of Pathfinder Elementary in the Platte County School District Dr. Devin Doll, Pathfinder Elementary Library Media Specialist Mrs. Natalie Milne, and Language Consultants International Director Jacob Rutherford are collaborating to bring an intercultural and global literature element to the four Open Library Nights at Pathfinder Elementary during the 2016-2017 academic year.
Kids 2 College—Kids 2 College is a college readiness initiative funded by the Sallie Mae Foundation. Dr. Shannon Cuff is working with the Dean of the School for Education and the Provost to bring the program to the middle schools of greatest need in the North Kansas City School District.
Northgate Middle School/Park University Partnership—In December of 2015, Dr. Shannon Cuff and School for Education colleague Professor Gail Hennessy received an Internationalization Faculty Grant to support English Language Learners (ELL) at Northgate Middle School in the North Kansas City School District. Shannon and Gail began work in the Spring of 2016 with the ELL Coordinator in the district to model research-based best practice strategies to Park University teacher candidates who will then use this knowledge to tutor struggling ELL readers at Northgate Middle School. The Watson Literacy Center will continue this partnership in the Fall of 2016 and the Spring of 2017.