Education Majors Host Literacy Night at Florence Elementary

Tori Parshley (left) offers exercises designed to strengthen literacy skills to families at Florence Elementary.

Tori Parshley (left) offers exercises designed to strengthen literacy skills to families at Florence Elementary.

HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 13, 2014 – Triniti Alston couldn’t keep her head out of the book about American pioneers during Florence Elementary’s Literacy Night.

Her pigtails peaked above the book’s cover, and occasionally she stopped to talk about the story with High Point University education majors who hosted the event. Otherwise, she was blissfully lost in words.

“I told my mom I wanted to stay longer,” Alston said during one quick glance away from the pages.

Parents and their children moved from table to table at the event organized by the HPU students. Families learned how to increase their child’s interest in reading and discussed the importance of building a strong foundation in literacy skills. Each station had activities that began with reading, then followed with writing and other exercises designed to engage kids.

For the education majors, it shined a light on the parent-teacher relationship.

“I’m excited about the turnout tonight because it’s a way for parents to see what we, as student-teachers, and the teachers at Florence are doing in the classroom,” said Tori Parshley, a senior at HPU. “It shows them we want to help their child succeed.”

“Doing community projects like these allows parents to see us, but it also allows us to see the teachers as role models and learn how to prepare for our own classroom someday,” added Parshley.

That night, Alston learned one thing about pioneers in America from the 17th century – they had it rough.

“You wouldn’t want to be one (a pioneer),” she said after the last page of the book. “I learned about how they lived and traveled, and it was hard.”

She left with new knowledge and a desire to crack open another book soon.

Literacy Night has been held at other schools in the past like Montlieu Academy of Technology. Taking the event to more schools allows education majors to extend their impact and share their love of literacy with the broader community.

“This event lifts everyone’s spirits,” said Parshley.

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