Resident to speak at international conference
by Mark Andrews
Feb 15, 2014 | 1298 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Julie Kozee, a resident of Cartersville and employee of the Children’s Department with the Bartow County Public Library System, will speak at The Conference on College Composition and Communication in Indianapolis, Ind., on March 14. Currently a Masters of Arts in English student through Northwestern State University in Louisiana’s online program, Kozee will present “Early to Read; Early to Rise: The Importance of Literacy in the Future Success of Elementary Students and How the College Writing Classroom Relates.”

According to a press release provided by CCCC, “Each year the CCCC Convention draws college faculty members from around the world. They gather to hear award-winning keynote speakers, attend presentations by colleagues on the latest innovations in education, and network to gain knowledge of best practices in the field.”

Kozee said the presentation will be based on a previous idea she had for a service learning project in the college freshmen writing classroom.

“The class of college students would work with a class of elementary age students — kindergarten or first grade — to write a short children’s book. It would be a semester-long project that pairs up one college student with one elementary student,” Kozee said. “In the beginning, the students would read books together and then map out the plot and characters together.

“The papers assigned in the college classroom would reflect on the experience working with the elementary school students. For example, when working on narratives, the college students would narrate their experience working with the elementary child. By the end of the semester, the college student and the elementary student would have written a book of their own creation.”

She said the project would assist both college students and elementary school children.

“The experience serves two purposes: ... it makes the work done in the college writing classroom ‘real’ for the students, and ... it assists with early literacy in the elementary school child. Early literacy is imperative to the future success of children. Just look at the rate of functional illiteracy in the prison system to see why. Once a child falls behind in reading, they are unlikely to catch up to their peers.”

She continued, “This service learning project won’t solve all the problems, but it is certainly a step in the right direction. And with a community college, two-year college, state college, and/or university in nearly every town, this project is something that can be implemented across the U.S.”

Kozee said last spring she was taking Composition Pedagogy as part of her graduate degree program and was encouraged to submit a paper to the CCCC.

“The acceptance rate for proposals is between 25 and 30 [percent], but the majority of proposals accepted are submitted by people with PhDs and years of experience in the field,” she said. “I was absolutely shocked when my proposal was accepted.”