Local Students Share Original Works at Second Annual Literacy SLAM Showcase

August 02 2017
Category: Academics

Elmira College graduate students presented the secondary students with program certificates.

Reading, writing, art, and music fused together last week during the Second Annual Literacy SLAM Showcase. The event, hosted by students in the Master of Science in Education: Literacy: Birth to 12 program, marked the end of a weeklong literacy program for local high school and middle school students.

During their week on campus, the group worked with the graduate students to explore poetry, art, and the ideas of self-expression. The Showcase then gave each student a chance to share their creations with family, friends, and the campus community.

“The participants get immersed in reading, writing, art, and music activities for up to four hours a day which culminates in a public display of literacy that includes original work in the form of digital collages, new song lyrics, and student generated poetry often read unconventionally. The intent is to invite students to engage in the many ways literacy is expressed in contemporary society,” said Dr. James Nageldinger, Assistant Professor of Literacy Education.

The first portion of the Showcase was dedicated to “Musical Copy Change,” in which the secondary students created parodies of contemporary songs - switching out lyrics with their own thoughts and expressions. Zach Hamilton, graduate student and music teacher with Horseheads Central School District, worked with the students to create their pieces and provided piano accompaniment during the event.

“We have found that exposure to new forms of expression often leads to fresher and less alienating perspectives of reading and writing in their lives.” Nageldinger recently presented on a similar concept of utilizing theatre scripts in improving reading comprehension, content learning, and critical thinking skills at the 20th European Conference on Literacy

The second portion of the Showcase highlighted student poetry through a “Poetry SLAM” featuring both secondary and graduate students performing pieces written by the secondary students. Although not a competition, the spoken-word portion gave students an opportunity to infuse emotions with their words and “perform” with the graduate students.

“Also, an unintended consequence is the tight bond that develops among students who, prior to their involvement, were strangers to one another.  For my part, being able to facilitate putting our extremely talented graduate students together with middle and high school students and seeing the magic that results is immensely satisfying,” reflected Dr. Nageldinger.

At the end of the showcase, graduate students presented the secondary students with program certificates.

Congratulations to all Literacy SLAM participants:
Kaylynn Coil
Jaydan Jackson
Arianna Lewis
Jarrid Lewis
Vonecia Manigault
Voneija Manigault
Michael Millow
Zachary Salyga

Elmira College Graduate Students:
Kailee Drewno
Zach Hamilton
Charlie Havens
Courtney Lyon
Erica Stickler
Nicole Webster
Emily White