Southeast’s Redhawk Readers Program Creates Online Reading Resource for Educators

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Southeast student Paige Anderson read “The Tortoise and the Jackrabbit” by Susan Lowell as part of Southeast’s Redhawk Readers.

Southeast Missouri State University is unveiling a new digital reading resource, Redhawk Readers, to support regional educators.

The video database features recordings of faculty and staff, students and student-athletes reading 80 different children’s books and is accessible to pre-kindergarten-6th grade educators in Southeast’s service region.

Redhawk Readers was created as a partnership between the University’s chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and Southeast’s Kent Library and EDvolution® Center.

The idea for Redhawk Readers came from Southeast alumna and Phi Kappa Phi member Tracy Rutherford, who currently teaches English as a second language at Clippard Elementary School in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Rutherford suggested that local educators could use the recordings in the classroom.

Southeast student Rachel Cundy read “The Wonky Donkey” by Katz Cowley as part of Southeast’s Redhawk Readers.

“This idea grew and is now a great way to engage students while providing teachers time to transition between subjects while in the classroom,” said Barbara Glackin, dean of Kent Library.

Rachel Cundy, a senior family consumer science education major, volunteered to record videos of her reading “The Wonky Donkey” by Katz Cowley and “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt.

Cundy said, “Redhawk Readers is important to our community because we’re giving back. I am able to provide a few moments of peace for an educator whose day might not be going so well, or who just needs to take a breath and step away from what they are teaching for a moment to reset. It is really important that we continue to support our teachers.”

Dr. Joe Pujol, dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Studies, read “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown as part of Southeast’s Redhawk Readers.

The University and Phi Kappa Phi’s long-term goal is to eventually create an online database of volunteer-made videos about specific activities like learning the alphabet and math tutorials as well as science experiments or arts and crafts projects, Glackin said.

Educators interested in accessing the videos made through the Redhawk Readers program can contact the EDvolution® Center (573) 986-6881 or edvolution@semo.edu.

Those interested in being a volunteer reader for Redhawk Readers, can make a reservation with Kent Library’s Heather MacDonald Greene Multimedia Center’s One Button Studio at hmgmc@semo.edu or (573) 986-4978; or with the EDvolution® Center at edvolution@semo.edu or (573) 986-6881.

Volunteers can choose a book from Kent Library’s Children and Young Adult Literature collection, Children Literature Award Winners collection, or MLK Bibliography.

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