John H. Buerschen, Elizabeth B. Harbaugh, Eleanor W. Mccormick



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As participants in the Building Community through Social Justice Learning and Living Cohort (BCSJLLC) our goal is to advance the cause of literacy in the Miami Valley through service learning. The BSCJLLC's community partner, the non-profit organization, Project READ, trained us to tutor students in grades K-3 and young adults. Members of our group were then placed by Project READ in tutoring assignments in DECA with high school students and in Cleveland Elementary School with first and third grade students. Our mission was to help improve the student's vocabulary and ability to read. We were consistently challenged by the different ages and skill levels of the individuals we were instructing; and the challenge to encourage and not direct our students. We found that developing personal relationships with our students helped us to encourage their overall learning and specifically helped them to gain confidence in their ability to improve their reading and vocabulary skills. Working with students in Dayton's inner city schools allowed us to see firsthand the education disparities that exist in America. As students, we believe that all people in a just society should be able to read and write. In our presentation we will reflect on how the combination of our service learning, the classes we have taken in our cohort, and our training by Project READ worked to advance the common good of the students we tutored. We will also explore the importance of our work in the context of the Marianist ideals of Lead, Learn, and Serve.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Lori G. Phillips-Young

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project

Fostering Literacy in Dayton City Schools