Early Learning and Child Care diploma students like Rhea Brisbin often work with children in ELM, MacEwan’s child care centre. This year, they also had the chance to explore books with school-aged children.

First-year students learn with and from wee readers

November 7, 2019 | Society

This Fall, first-year MacEwan University students studying early childhood curriculum took part in the Alberta Reads Network Wee Read program, sharing books with children in Kindergarten and Grade 1 at eight different Edmonton Public Schools. Each student was placed with a small group of early learners for an eight-week period, each week introducing them to a new book and a variety of activities tied to reading.

Faculty members Margaret Mykietsyshyn and Donna Badach say it was the perfect way to help shape students’ views on what literacy looks like in very young children, and to illustrate how using age-appropriate approaches to reading can help create a lifelong connection with books – and people. 

“It’s one of our students’ first opportunities to be playful, to build relationships with young children and learn with them,” says Margaret.

First-year student Rhea Brisbin’s reading group of Grade 1 students jumped up to hug her when she arrived on her third visit to their classroom. “They seemed to love our time together – and I did too,” she says. “I got to see for myself the different stages the girls were at in their reading, and it was fun to watch them get so excited about literacy games like searching for common words in the story, rhyming games or playing ‘I Spy’ in the pages of the book.”

Building an early appreciation and understanding of literacy in young children is an important stepping stone in studying early childhood curriculum and will serve students currently in the Early Learning and Child Care diploma program well, says Margaret, especially if they decide to pursue MacEwan’s new Bachelor of Early Childhood Curriculum Studies program which digs deeper into nurturing literacy in society’s youngest learners.


New Bachelor of Early Childhood Curriculum Studies introduced

“If we want higher quality early learning programs, the lever we can most easily move is in preparing educators in ways that allow them to deliver programs that set children up to be successful.”

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