Four University of Wisconsin-Platteville elementary education students recently attended the 2020 Wisconsin State Reading Association Convention at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The students were advised by Dr. Lindsay Hollingsworth, associate professor of education at UW-Platteville.
The purpose of the conference is to bring literacy coaches, reading specialists, classroom teachers, professors, undergraduate students, librarians and retired teachers together to promote and disseminate research supporting effective literacy practices.
Students included Abigail Parker, a junior elementary education major from Belmont, Wisconsin; Hannah Williams, a junior elementary education major from East Troy, Wisconsin; Maria Bast, a senior elementary education major from Platteville; and Courtney Miess, a junior elementary major from Dodgeville, Wisconsin.
During the conference, the students attended sessions from both local and national speakers on literacy education. A highlight of the conference was attending the keynote address by Donalyn Miller, an award-winning teacher, author and staff development leader.
“It was an amazing conference with many opportunities for professional learning,” said Hollingsworth. “In the School of Education, we have a goal of encouraging our undergraduate students to attend conferences in order to inform their developing teacher identities. I was impressed by the students’ interest in the conference and willingness to spend two days of their busy lives learning from master educators.”
“I enjoyed my experience at WRSA very much,” said Parker. “I loved being able to connect with different teachers and learn about how they do things at their school. I learned about different techniques to teach reading and how I can continually grow as a future educator. My main future career goal is to be a kindergarten teacher anywhere in the world, and I feel this helped me have a good baseline of the knowledge I will need for my future career. I so appreciate this opportunity to grow as a future educator.”
“Going to the WSRA was an amazing experience,” said Williams. “I was able to connect with other educators from all over Wisconsin and expand my knowledge on what materials there are available for classrooms today. All the sessions were very inspirational and informative, especially listening to and meeting Donalyn Miller, an award-winning teacher and author. It was truly an experience I will never forget.”
The trip to the conference was made possible thanks to a grant Hollingsworth received from the UW-Platteville College of Liberal Arts and Education Dean’s Fund for High Impact Practices.
According to its website, the Wisconsin State Reading Association provides leadership, advocacy and professional learning for the implementation of effective research-based literacy practices and works to promote excellence in reading. Its more than 2,200 members are reading teachers and specialists, classroom teachers, college professors and others working to contribute to the education and literacy of all children.