COLUMBUS, Miss.-- Mississippi University for Women’s School of Education used a $1,000 grant from Mississippi Professional Educators (MPE) to recently hold a literacy seminar about the components, relationships and complexities of reading comprehension.

Twenty-six preservice teacher candidates from The W attended the seminar on April 5, which was designed to prepare competent teacher candidates who can positively affect students’ literacy learning in their future classrooms.

Rose Ford, an instructor and Jumpstart coordinator in the School of Education, said the grant from MPE allowed her to purchase literacy educational materials and manipulatives, research-based literacy development models and instructional tools that supported candidates’ diverse learning styles to achieve course content knowledge and application. The materials will be used in future seminars and for course instruction. Preservice teacher candidates also will be able to use some of the purchased materials in their future classrooms.

“When teachers know and have better, they tend to do better,” said Ford, who plans to apply for another grant so she can hold another seminar next year. “This grant contributed to prospective teachers’ success in effectively building stronger readers.”

The seminar was inspired by literacy researcher and expert Louisa Moats, who has published research that shows the complexities of teaching reading and how the teachers’ knowledge of these complexities correlates to successful reading instruction and positive student outcomes. Despite the improvements and efforts concerning Mississippi students’ reading success, Ford said evidence still shows a need for even more improvement, which is why she sought a grant to fund the seminar. She also said preservice teacher candidates have requested opportunities for face-to-face learning and collaboration with instructors and peers. The courses have been taught completely online, so the seminar was an extra layer of support based on students’ requests. The seminar was offered face-to-face and live virtual for long-distance students.

Attendees of the seminar completed a “Learner Snapshot” so Ford could collect data to analyze the success of the event and the grant. She received a lot of positive feedback, which motivates her to help the next group of preservice teacher candidates.

“The hands-on approach will help the preservice teacher candidates visualize a lot of the information,” Ford said. “Through a reading simulation, the attendees also gained a great perspective on what it is really like for a student to read with 80% accuracy, which is typically accepted as mastery.”

In addition to enhancing the candidates’ knowledge base of the science of reading, the project helped the candidates implement best practices. Ford said she accomplished the project’s goals by facilitating and equipping candidates with evidence and brain-based research on “what works” in literacy instruction and by modeling and promoting multisensory strategies that achieve high engagement.


May 19, 2022
Contact: Adam Minichino
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(662) 329-1976