USTEP training session draws area educators

Kesha Williams
August 02, 2010


Twenty-three participants from five counties--Currituck, Gates, Halifax, Pasquotank, Perquimans-came to ECSU for a two-day professional development session in Reading Strategies for K-2 teachers. The participants included 1 principal, 1 physical therapist, 1 faculty member, 1 P.E. teacher, 1 AIG teacher and18 teachers in grades K-2. 

The Director of the University School Teacher Education Partnership (U-STEP), Dr. Shelia H. Williams collaborated with Dr. Kimberley N. Stevenson, Director of Distance and Continuing Education to host the Professional Development training session in Reading Strategies for K-2 teachers in the five elements of reading--Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension.

The two day training was based on the work of Valerie Ellery, an international reading consultant and curriculum specialist. Each participant received with ready to use materials and strategies packet.  They also received 2 CEUs, a certificate for completion and Valerie Ellery's book, "Creating Strategic Readers."

This Professional Development in reading supports North Carolina State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson's "READ NC" literacy campaign.   Literacy is the basis for all content area learning. The Nation's Report Card (2009) from the National Center for Educational Statistics- Institute of Education Sciences revealed the following:

In 2009, the average Reading score in North Carolina was

  •  lower than those in 26 states/jurisdictions
  •  higher than those in 11 states/jurisdictions
  •  not significantly different from those in 14 states/jurisdictions

ECSU visiting lecturer, Rosemary Rice-Jones conducted the training on July 20th and 21st at the K.E. White Graduate and Continuing Education Center. Mrs. Rice-Jones is a certified Creating Strategic Readers' trainer and is one of the elementary reading and language arts instructors in the Department of Education here at ECSU. She has 32 years of elementary experience as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and instructional specialist.

Dr. Sheila Williams was pleased to work with colleagues at ECSU to offer the session.

"The participants provided good feedback. Most said they enjoyed it. We look forward to offering additional training sessions here," Williams said.

One of the goals of the University-School Partnership program is to assist with the needs of the public school systems, to establish professional development partnerships for the initial preparation, induction, and continuing professional development of career teachers, administrators, and other school-based personnel.  During the academic year, ECSU faculty have worked with teachers and schools in a variety of ways, including:  team teaching, grant writing, proctoring exams, presentations, judging projects, serving as mentors for initially licensed teachers, serving on committees and School Improvement Teams.