Southeast Education Students Awarded SMSTA Service Project of the Year for Jefferson Elementary Literacy Walk

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Southeast Missouri State University’s Student Missouri State Teachers Association (SMSTA) was recently honored with the SMSTA Service Project of the Year award during the 2019 Missouri State Teachers Association conference.

Southeast’s SMSTA was recognized for a literacy walk project to promote literacy and the joy of reading at Jefferson Elementary School in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

“We are honored that the state Student Missouri State Teachers Association recognized our service project,” said Dr. Larry Bohannon, professor of elementary education and faculty sponsor of Southeast’s SMSTA.

As part of the project, SMSTA student members took pages from a large formatted children’s book and attached them to foam boards strategically placed around Jefferson Elementary’s playground. The Southeast students then walked groups of kindergarten and first graders through the story.

At the end of the story, each child received their very own children’s book, donated by the SMSTA members.

Southeast students Rachel Baker (left) and Eli Readnour (right) with Dr. Larry Bohannon.

The walk, originally only planned for kindergartners, was positively received by the young students, and the school asked the Southeast students to also include the first graders, Bohannon said.

Because of the project’s success, Southeast students will host another literacy walk at another local elementary school next spring.

Additionally, during this year’s Missouri State Teacher Association conference, two Southeast SMSTA members, Rachel Baker, a senior early childhood education major from Marble Hill, Missouri, and Eli Readnour, a senior elementary education major from Festus, Missouri, were elected to serve as ambassadors for the 2020 MSTA Assembly of Delegates.

Nineteen Southeast students attended this year’s conference.

Top Photo Caption: From left to right are Southeast students Savannah Kesselring, Clare Klinkhardt and Matthew Nagle; Dr. Larry Bohannon, professor of elementary education and faculty sponsor of Southeast’s SMSTA; and Southeast students Brock Quigley and Rachel Stewart.

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