Counseling Educational Leadership & Research – Augusta University College of Education https://coenews.augusta.edu Prepared, able, and responsive Wed, 08 Jan 2020 15:30:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Documentary examines the criminalization of black girls in schools https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/2226 https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/2226#respond Wed, 08 Jan 2020 15:30:25 +0000 https://coenews.augusta.edu/?p=2226 PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools” will screen at Augusta University’s Maxwell Performing Arts Theater on Jan. 14.

This feature-length documentary examines a new and alarming trend: African American girls are the fastest-growing population in the criminal justice system and the only group of girls disproportionately experiencing criminalization and harsh discipline at every educational level.  The screening, hosted by the AU College of Education, will be held at the Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theater from 7-9 p.m., including a reception after the film.

Dr. Darla Linville, assistant professor in the Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation, says that schools are grappling with data that shows that students of different races get different punishment for similar misbehavior.

“This documentary is an opportunity for the Black community and beyond to finally see that this is not a niche issue and can become a vicious cycle if we do nothing,” said Monique W. Morris, an executive producer of the film and author of the book of the same title.

PUSHOUT exposes the educational and judicial disparities African-American girls face in the United States.

The film includes heart-wrenching stories from young women ages 7 to 19 from across the country (Miami, Fla.; Portland, Ore.; Oakland, Calif.; Sacramento, Calif.; Columbus, Ohio) as they narrate the challenges they encounter daily.

The film also includes a local incident that made news in 2015 when a school resource officer in Columbia, S.C., violently reprimanded a student who refused to give up her cell phone. The viral video of the incident shows a student sitting at a desk until an officer overturns the desk with her in it, throws her to the ground and arrests her for causing a disturbance in the school.

“In the state of Georgia we’re in the midst of a conversation about disciplinary disparities by race.  Several districts in our area are rethinking discipline to include Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, and Restorative School Practices, to change their approach to behavior issues and reduce suspensions and expulsions,” Linville said.

While the over-incarceration and criminalization that black boys face in this country has received national attention, how girls of color, specifically African American girls are affected is absent from the conversation.  PUSHOUT addresses that crisis.

“For girls, education is a critical protective factor against involvement with the criminal legal system. This documentary explores how Black girls are impacted by the policies, practices, conditions and prevailing consciousness that renders them vulnerable to criminalization,” Morris said.

PUSHOUT also features insights from experts across the country who have worked in social justice, gender equality and educational equity. These experts provide context for the crisis and a roadmap for how individuals who interact with African American girls through the educational and justice systems can provide positive response to behaviors – that are often misunderstood and misinterpreted by teachers, administrators, and the justice system—the very institutions charged with helping them flourish.

“Morris’ book has already made a big impact on education research and practice, and it’s being used in this campus in criminal justice courses.  This is an opportunity to go deeper into some of the stories that Monique Morris presents in the book, and to engage in conversation with community members about the topics in the film, in order to find steps to take to understand what we can all do to advocate for educational opportunities for Black girls,” Linville said.

PUSHOUT is a film by Jacoba Atlas and Monique W. Morris and produced by Women in the Room Productions with executive producer Denise Pines and director Jacoba Atlas. Funding is provided by NoVo Foundation, Meadow Fund, Ford Foundation, Ms. Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Stuart Foundation and Films for Purpose. For additional information, visit www.pushoutfilm.com.

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Counselor education student wins national recognition for essay https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/1955 https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/1955#respond Tue, 20 Mar 2018 17:52:45 +0000 http://coenews.augusta.edu/?p=1955 AUGUSTA, GA. – Augusta University College of Education’s own Katy Towns received Honorable Mention in the American Counseling Association’s Ross Trust Future School Counselors Essay Competition. Towns was one of 17 entrants out of 600 nationwide to receive an honor in the contest, and is the first AU student to receive recognition in this competition.

Dr. Richard Deaner, program coordinator for counselor education, characterized Towns as a naturally gifted counselor-in-training who easily connects with people and is able to grasp complex concepts rather easily.

“Katy’s paper involves a discussion about how she would include openness and inclusion as a school counselor. In particular, it involves inspirational sentiment about supporting the #MeToo movement in a reflective and meaningful manner as a counselor. She is passionate about helping people and instilling inspiration in others. Her creative and thoughtful writing style reflects her passion, intellect, and pursuit of excellence,” Deaner said.

Towns said that she was inspired to be a school counselor by students from her hometown of Lincolnton, Ga., who lacked a source of strength from outside the school, and because they lacked that strength were not able to seek the resources that they needed.

“I feel like the school system is a great place to foster change because you can find these students whose mental health issues may otherwise go unnoticed. The earlier you can identify someone facing difficult challenges or suffering abuse, the better their outcomes are likely to be because they get early assistance,” Towns said.

Katy will receive her award at the American Counseling Association 2018 Conference and Expo in Atlanta in April. The American Counseling Association is a non-profit organization devoted to helping further the counseling profession.

 

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Harris publishes book on effective literacy techniques https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/1330 https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/1330#respond Mon, 21 Mar 2016 07:00:15 +0000 http://coenews.gru.edu/?p=1330 AUGUSTA, GA. – After decades of leading the nationally recognized Augusta University Literacy Center, Dr. Paulette Harris has finally bound all of her tricks and tips for getting children and adults to read into a handbook for parents and practitioners. “Leading Literacy Programs: Proven Practices” was just printed by Stipes Publishing.

Harris Book

Sized to fit comfortably in an average handbag or satchel, the book chronicles all of the most impactful practices and techniques in literacy training, from old-standbys like Rainbow Words to newer innovations like Semantic Mapping.

“It’s like a collection of classic recipes,” Harris said. “They’ve worked again and again, and they’re still good.”

The book’s publication is important recognition of the work to which Harris has devoted her life, said Dr. Zach Kelehear, Dean of the College of Education. “We see in Dr. Harris’ book concrete evidence of her daily commitment to learning, reading and children. She has been awarded grants in support of her literacy work and this type of outside affirmation is important to the ceaseless work she often does quietly and out of sight.”

“Leading Literacy Programs” was developed over the course of two years with an everyman approach. It is designed to be useful to any literacy advocate – parents, tutors, beginning volunteers and retired teachers. And it is flexible enough to be functional for all ages, grade levels, and stages of development – including gifted and special needs students.

“Dr. Harris is able to write about her work with eloquence, she is able to do her work effortlessly, and no one in the College can seem to keep up with her seemingly unbounded enthusiasm,” Kelehear said.

The book includes everything from reading and mathematics basics to study skills, time management, and organizational skills.

“I wanted it to be something useful for other institutions with volunteer literacy programs, no matter how much technology or how little technology they have access to,” she said. “As long as you can read, you can use this book to help others do the same.”

“Leading Literacy Programs: Proven Practices” will be available in the Augusta University bookstores, available to other colleges as an educational textbook or supplement and will be available at http://www.stipes.com/catalog.

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Professor wins Regents’ highest teaching honor https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/1326 https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/1326#comments Fri, 18 Mar 2016 17:04:15 +0000 http://coenews.gru.edu/?p=1326 AUGUSTA, GA. – Dr. Richard Deaner, professor of counselor education at Augusta University, has been selected to receive the 2016 University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award.

Created in 1996, the Regents’ Awards program recognizes the finest among the USG faculty who significantly improve student success and demonstrate innovative teaching techniques and programs.

“We are so proud of Dr. Deaner,” said Dr. Zach Kelehear, dean of the College of Education. “As a College where we teach about teaching, it is especially important that we have impactful and engaging professors who can talk about their craft and can perform the art of teaching with superior results. I recently walked into a class of Dr. Deaner’s simply to greet the students.  His class was full and his students were clearly engaged with him as a professor. What a fantastic model he can offer.”

Deaner will be officially recognized at the annual Regents’ Scholarship Gala on April 29 in Atlanta. The award and recognition come with a $5,000 prize.

“This is a great personal honor, but I hope it also highlights the excellent quality of teaching and research being accomplished by faculty in the department and across Augusta University,” Deaner said. “Being named one of the state’s four research universities confirms the caliber of work we are already doing.”

It’s an accolade that is well deserved, said his department chair, Dr. Michelle Bryan, who recalls a time when she visited one of his classes for peer observation. She was so engrossed by the classroom conversation, and Dr. Deaner’s facilitation, that she forgot her purpose.

“I started taking notes on techniques and strategies that Rich was using to figure out how I could take them up in my own classroom,” Bryan said. “Those of us who have had the pleasure of observing him teach, or who have had him as an instructor, understand why he was nominated and why the reward is richly deserved.”

Deaner is also the recipient of the 2012-2013 Outstanding Teaching Award from Augusta University and the 2012 President’s Special Merit Award from the Southern Association of Counselor Education and Supervision. And he has been appointed the National Process Observer, and advisory position to the President of the American Counseling Association.

If you ask his students, he deserves even more awards. Summer Allen, a former M.Ed., student at Augusta University and current doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at San Antonio, said that Deaner shaped her education through interactive dialogue and thought-provoking questions. But he also shaped her professional identity with unwavering support and encouragement, including providing opportunities to present at conferences.

“Dr. Deaner has been an exemplary role model for me,” Allen said. “Dr. Deaner believed in me until I learned to believe in myself.”

Deaner’s teaching philosophy is to provide a comfortable yet stimulating environment for learning, in which students re facilitated in free expression, choice and thought, while being guided in the ethical standards of professional counseling.

“I am constantly attempting to find ways to connect innovatively with the new generation of learners,” Deaner said. That includes showing clips from reality television shows with a subsequent class discussion on conflict management or narcissism. Deaner has developed a database with specific clips that offer practical glimpses into disorders, symptomology, addictions, human development, family dynamics, therapeutic skills, group dynamics and culture.

One former student of his is now a colleague. Kari Viola works as the Child Advocacy Center Director for Child Enrichment in Augusta. Viola said that his passion for counseling, as a professor, is contagious. But through her work with Child Enrichment, she’s seen the result of that passion.

“It is always reassuring to me when we have interns from Augusta University’s program because I know that they will be receiving supervision and guidance from Dr. Deaner to make it a smooth transition for students taking their skills to start working with clients in the community,” Viola said.

And because that transition from classroom to practice can be daunting, Deaner takes an active interest in each student’s experiences. “I believe strongly in creating service-learning opportunities where students can apply skills with real people in real settings,” he said. In addition to his award-winning teaching, Deaner is a researcher with numerous publications and presentations, and he is committed to diversity and student success.

Deaner has been on the faculty at Augusta University since 2007. He holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Virginia; an M.Ed. in counselor education from Lynchburg College; and a Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision from the University of South Carolina.

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College gathers more than 1,000 donations for local domestic violence organization and shelter for victims https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/1267 https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/1267#respond Tue, 15 Dec 2015 22:16:11 +0000 http://coenews.gru.edu/?p=1267 AUGUSTA, GA. – After sorting and counting the mountain of supplies donated to the Chi Sigma Iota donation drive for SafeHomes of Augusta, the tally is in. The Augusta University College of Education raised more than $2,700 worth of supplies to support the mission of the local domestic violence agency and its shelter for victims.

“After loading several carts, we were wiped out but exhilarated – and we could not have fit another item in the truck,” said Dr. Meredith Rausch, professor of counseling, in the Department of Counselor Education, Leadership and Research. Nearly 1,100 items were shoehorned in for the trip to the agency.

Donation drives such as this are “critical,” said SafeHomes Development Director Jennifer Frantom.

“So many times, clients come with just the clothes on their backs. We provide everything,” Frantom said.

In addition to shelter, food and personal care, SafeHomes tries to offer some comforts of home to the children adjusting to their new lives, so holiday gifts are another way to help.

“The transition from home life to shelter life can be difficult for the children, so we want to provide a normal routine during the holidays, which is such a memorable time in children’s lives,” Rausch said.

There is still time to donate. Those interested in helping can donate according to the list of individual needs by age; can adopt a shelter family as part of their holiday gift-giving; or can donate a cash gift to Specs, the 501(c)(3) running the holiday drive. All proceeds go to SafeHomes of Augusta.

SafeHomes says it estimates hosting nine adult women and 14 children during December. The children’s ages are expected to include two 2-year-old girls; three 4-year-old boys; two 5-year-old girls and two 5-year-old boys; one 6-year-old girl; one 8-year-old girl and two 8-year-old boys; and one 13-year-old boy. However, the population of the shelter changes regularly, and it is difficult for the organization to predict its holiday residency.

Personal items needed for the shelter include:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Lotion
  • Soap
  • Diapers
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Paper Towels
  • Kleenex
  • Toilet Paper
  • Journals
  • Pens

For more information on the donation drive, call 706-737-1437. For more information on SPECS, visithttp://www.specspartners.org. For more information on SafeHomes of Augusta, visithttp://www.safehomesdv.org.

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Faculty will present at premier national research conference https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/1260 https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/1260#respond Fri, 11 Dec 2015 17:30:48 +0000 http://coenews.gru.edu/?p=1260 (Above: AERA President Joyce E. King addresses the 2015 convention.
Click to see more photos from AERA 2015) 

AUGUSTA, GA. – Several faculty members from the Augusta University College of Education have been accepted as presenters for the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) annual conference in Washington, D.C., in April 2016.

Dr. Nikki Christodoulou, Dr. Andre Kemp, Dr. Nai-Cheng Kuo, Dr. Stacie Pettit, Dr. Laura Rychly, Dr. Juan Walker and Dr. Judi Wilson, from the Department of Teacher Education, were accepted to present; and Dr. Darla Linville and Dr. Olajide Agunloye, from the Department of Counselor Education, Leadership and Research, were accepted to present.

AERA is the premier national research society that strives to advance knowledge about education, to encourage scholarly inquiry related to education and to promote the use of research to improve education and serve the public good.

“Acceptance is a huge accomplishment for any education researcher. There are a lot of big names and to be chosen from among 13,000 submissions is an honor,” Walker said, who will present with three of his colleagues.

“This is the top-tier conference for which everyone aims. The best universities practically shut down their colleges of education during the conference, because everyone is there. This year, we’ll definitely be short-staffed that week,” Pettit said.

  • Dr. Nikki Christodoulou will present “Digging into documents to examine social-political problems and implications in the curriculum.”
  • Dr. Andrew Kemp has organized a panel discussion with a diverse assembly of higher education researchers called “The journey from doctoral student to a tenure-track job;” he will also present “Journeys of self: Critical reflections by teacher educators on their professional identity trajectories.”
  • Dr. Nai-Cheng Kuo will present “Promoting family literacy through the five pillars of family and community engagement (FACE).”
  • Kuo and Dr. Stacie Pettit will present “Supporting English language learners through Response to Intervention (RTI): What pre-service teachers need to know.”
  • Dr. Darla Linville has organized and will participate in the panel discussion “Ethics and Eros: Theoretical Considerations of LGBTQ Young Adult Literature.”
  • Dr. Olajide Agunloye will present “Shaping Education Policy in Global Context for The Future We Want.”
  • Pettit, Dr. Laura Rychly and Dr. Juan Walker will present “Democratic Citizenship in Education 2016,” with GRU Pamplin College faculty member Dr. Craig Albert. The group collaborated earlier to release a new middle school social studies curriculum for the popular Model United Nations civics exercise, and are working to revitalize the activity.
  • Pettit and Rychly will also present “What to do with what Disney has done: Effects of Disney’s stereotypes on students’ identities” and “‘How many do you have?’ Disney English (as a) language (of) acquisition.”
  • Dr. Judi Wilson will present “State-wide implementation of edTPA in preparation for high-stakes testing: A mixed-methods study of the concerns of edTPA coordinators” with colleagues.

For more information on the American Educational Research Association, visit www.aera.net. For more information on the GRU College of Education, visit www.gru.edu.

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College will collect toiletries, gifts for families and children residing in Augusta domestic violence shelter https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/1231 https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/1231#respond Tue, 10 Nov 2015 18:37:19 +0000 http://coenews.gru.edu/?p=1231 AUGUSTA, GA. – All across the country domestic violence shelters are closing because they don’t have the funds to stay open. And families who are looking for safety have nowhere to go. The College of Education is partnering with SafeHomes of Augusta to provide for the daily needs of the residents of their shelter for domestic violence survivors.

“We have few resources in Augusta to meet this need, and we must keep open and thriving the shelters we do have, so we can keep victims and families safe,” said Dr. Meredith Rausch, professor of counseling, in the Department of Counselor Education, Leadership and Research.

Through Dec. 11, the College of Education will collect personal care items and new, unwrapped holiday gifts for children of all ages.

It’s an effort that SafeHome Development Director Jennifer Frantom called “critical.”

“So many times, clients come with just the clothes on their backs. We provide everything,” Frantom said.

And while SafeHomes of Augusta is state-certified, the domestic violence service agency is a home-grown organization that began in the late 70s with a group of women who took abuse victims into their own homes. So the organization began with personal involvement by those passionate about providing safety from domestic violence, and it continues to require that passion to provide desperately needed services to the community.

In addition to shelter, food and personal care, SafeHomes tries to offer some comforts of home to the children adjusting to their new lives, so holiday gifts are another way to help.

“The transition from home life to shelter life can be difficult for the children, so we want to provide a normal routine during the holidays, which is such a memorable time in children’s lives,” Rausch said.

Those interested in helping can donate according to the list of individual needs by age; can adopt a shelter family as part of their holiday gift-giving; or can donate a cash gift to Specs, the 501(c)(3) running the holiday drive. All proceeds go to SafeHomes of Augusta.

SafeHomes says it estimates hosting nine adult women and 14 children during December. The children’s ages are expected to include two 2-year-old girls; three 4-year-old boys; two 5-year-old girls and two 5-year-old boys; one 6-year-old girl; one 8-year-old girl and two 8-year-old boys; and one 13-year-old boy. However, the population of the shelter changes regularly, and it is difficult for the organization to predict its holiday residency.

Personal items the college is collecting for the residents include:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Lotion
  • Soap
  • Diapers
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Paper Towels
  • Kleenex
  • Toilet Paper
  • Journals
  • Pens

For more information on the donation drive, call 706-737-1437. For more information on SPECS, visit http://www.specspartners.org. For more information on SafeHomes of Augusta, visit http://www.safehomesdv.org.

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College of Education will host exhibit promoting peace https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/1218 https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/1218#respond Thu, 22 Oct 2015 17:00:28 +0000 http://coenews.gru.edu/?p=1218 AUGUSTA, GA – The Augusta University College of Education will host a free, two-day exhibit called “Building a Culture of Peace for the Children of the World” in the JSAC Breezeway on the Summerville campus Nov. 30 to Dec. 1.

Illustrating the importance of building a culture of peace at all levels and across geographical lines, the exhibit highlights the work of a dozen people famous for their role in conflict resolution, while showcasing the essays and artwork of children who are destined to inherit this task. The show has previously been seen at Columbia University, Harvard University – and the United Nations headquarters in New York, where more than 10,000 attended.

“The purpose is to plant the seeds of peace on campus. Universities cultivate world leaders. But knowledge is neutral and can be used for good or bad. Our wisdom guides us on how to use our knowledge,” said Dr. Nai-Cheng Kuo, professor of education.

Kuo said that it is important to have the kind of moral conversations that help to teach students to use their collegiate education and experiences to spread peace wherever they go.

“Peace is not just an absence of conflict. Peace is a set of values that prevents conflict through dialogue and negotiation. Those values can live in a family, in a workplace, in a classroom or in a society,” Kuo said.

The exhibit stresses that a culture of peace consists of interlocking pieces in which each individual plays a part. And faculty have volunteered to sit down in conversations with students about how to define peace and how to mindfully implement the concept.

The exhibit is sponsored the College of Education, Reese Library, The GRU Literacy Center, The Confucius Institute and the GRU Peace Studies group.

Date: Nov. 30-Dec. 1
Time: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Location: Breezeway of the Jaguar Student Activity Center
Augusta University Summerville campus
2500 Walton Way, Augusta, GA 30904
Cost: Free
Registration: No

 

 

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CSI organizes drive to benefit local food bank https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/1211 https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/1211#respond Wed, 21 Oct 2015 18:49:08 +0000 http://coenews.gru.edu/?p=1211 AUGUSTA, GA. – One in five Georgians are food insecure, according to the Georgia Food Bank Association – meaning that they don’t always know where they will find their next meal. To combat that, the Augusta University chapter of Chi Sigma Iota has organize a canned food drive for the Summerville campus.

“As counseling professionals in training, we know the devastating impact that hunger and poor nutrition can have on children and adults. It effects memory, academic performance and behavior; and can even have a long-term influence on mental health,” said Alfredo Perez, CSI chapter president and graduate student assistant within the College of Education’s Department of Counselor Education, Leadership and Research.

CSI is asking students, faculty and staff to support the drive by bringing in unexpired canned and non-perishable goods to Suite 325 in University Hall by Friday, Nov. 13. They are looking for hearty food options such as soup, beans, tuna, peanut butter and rice.

“If everyone on the Summerville campus brought in just two or three items, we could have a real impact,” Perez said.

Donated items will be delivered to Golden Harvest Food Bank, which serves 250,000 people in 30 surrounding counties. For more information, call the Department of Counselor Education, Leadership and Research at 706-737-1497 or email Alfredo Perez at aperez@gru.edu.

What to donate:

  • Meals in a can (stew, chili, soup)
  • Tuna and canned meat
  • Peanut butter, almond butter, soy butter
  • Canned foods with pop-top lids
  • Low-sugar cereals
  • 100 percent fruit juices in single serving boxes
  • Canned fruit packed in juice
  • Canned vegetables (low salt)
  • Baby food and cereal
  • Baby formula
  • Diapers
  • Toilet paper
  • Toothpaste
  • Soap

What NOT to donate:

  • Alcohol
  • Boxed cake and brownie mixed
  • Opened, used, or expired products
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Literacy Center will show ‘The Ant and the Grasshopper’ https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/1118 https://coenews.augusta.edu/archives/1118#respond Thu, 24 Sep 2015 16:28:32 +0000 http://coenews.gru.edu/?p=1118 AUGUSTA, GA. – The classic Aesop fable about the perils of laziness and the importance of charity will come to life Oct. 14 as the Augusta University Literacy Center presents “The Ant and the Grasshopper” at the Maxwell Performing Arts Theater.

In this modernized, updated version of the play, a playful grasshopper wastes away summer days while an industrious ant works hard to prepare for the winter. When winter comes, the grasshopper finds himself hungry and is forced to beg the ant for help.

The engaging stories in this and other plays presented by the center are another way to promote love and interest in literature and reading. This year, the literacy center has partnered with Porkchop Productions to bring a series of plays to life for children from across the CSRA, with the purpose of improving literacy.

“Besides being fun for children, attending literacy plays helps children develop decoding skills, fluency, vocabulary, syntactic knowledge, discourse knowledge and metacognitive thinking. In short, the mental requirements for understanding dramatic productions are very similar to those used for reading comprehension,” said Dr. Paulette Harris, founder and director of the AU Literacy Center.

The center started the year’s productions with “Stone Soup” and will continue with classics like “The Princess and the Pea” and “The Bremen Town Musicians.”

“But you’ve never seen these shows before,” said Porkchop Productions’ founder Stacey Maxwell. “All of our shows are original content. We take the short fables and lengthen them, and the darker fairy tales and lighten them. We teach a lesson that appeals to both children and adults with lots of pop culture references and light-hearted jokes.”

Maxwell said the shows add a frenetic, kinetic energy to stories that children may only see in the page. The drama engages them, helps them to better visualize words in action – a skill they can take back to their reading. In fact, teaching a lesson while entertaining was part of what inspired Maxwell to found the children’s theater production company 21 years ago. And to do that, she rewrites the plays as time passes, rotating them in and out every five years to keep the content fresh.

“It’s 2015,” she said, with a chuckle. “The Spice Girls just aren’t relevant anymore.”

Keeping things current helps kids connect with the stories, which in turn helps them connect with reading. And that, Harris said, is the whole point of offering the play series.

“The brain learns best when it is involved in exploring, thinking, and analyzing. Seeing plays on stage facilitates the brain to retain information as it provides a stimulating environment for young learners,” Harris said.

Tickets for the AU Literacy Center’s play series are available by contacting the AU Literacy Center. Seating is limited. School groups may make reservations. Tickets are $3 per person, group rates are available. For more information and to reserve seating, call the Literacy Center at 706-737-1625.

Season schedule

  • “The Ant and the Grasshopper” – Oct. 14, 10 am.
  • “Holly and the Secret Santa” – Dec. 16, 10 a.m.
  • “Sticks and Stones” – Jan. 13, 10 a.m.
  • “The Princess and the Pea” – March 23, 10 a.m.
  • “The Bremen Town Musicians” – May 25, 10 a.m.

The AU Literacy Center is located at 1401 Magnolia Dr., Augusta.  Call 706-737-1625, or visit gru.edu/colleges/education/lcenter.

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The mission of the College of Education is to educate and prepare prospective professionals to be knowledgeable, highly effective, and ethical practitioners who transform learners into thinking, productive citizens. Visit www.gru.edu/coe.

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Augusta University, formerly Georgia Regents University, is one of four public comprehensive research universities in the state with nearly 10,000 students enrolled in its nine colleges and schools, which include the Medical College of Georgia – the nation’s 13th-oldest medical school – the nationally-ranked Hull College of Business and Georgia’s only College of Dental Medicine. The clinical enterprise associated with the university includes the 478-bed Georgia Regents Medical Center and the 154-bed Children’s Hospital of Georgia. AU is a unit of the University System of Georgia and an equal opportunity institution. Visit www.gru.edu.

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