The Missouri Reader Vol. 42, Issue 2 | Page 25


Our mission is to empower educators, inspire students, and encourage leaders with the resources they need to make literacy accessible for all.

We support literacy through a wide range of resources including advocacy efforts, volunteerism, and professional development activities.

The Missouri Literacy Association (MLA) is an affiliate of the International Literacy Association (ILA), one of the leading literacy organizations in the world. Members of MLA receive access to our digital peer-reviewed journal, The Missouri Reader and our MLA e-news all while supporting literacy across our state! Join us. We look forward to partnering with you!


About the International Literacy Association

The International Literacy Association (ILA) is a global advocacy and membership organization dedicated to advancing literacy for all through its network of more than 300,000 literacy educators, researchers and experts across 146 countries. With over 60 years of experience, ILA has set the standard for how literacy is defined, taught and evaluated. ILA’s Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals 2017 provides an evidence-based benchmark for the development and evaluation of literacy professional preparation programs. ILA collaborates with partners across the world to develop, gather and disseminate high-quality resources, best practices and cutting-edge research to empower educators, inspire students and inform policymakers. ILA publishes The Reading Teacher, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy and Reading Research Quarterly, which are peer reviewed and edited by leaders in the field. For more information, visit

Diana Houlle, MLA DIrector of Membership

Missouri Literacy Association membership is a smart

step toward supporting literacy for ALL.



The self-selection of books, including poetry, is another important aspect of the success of this project. Choice helps children engage with the books they hold in their hands. In turn, children are free to choose which book they take home as a gift. Often, children encounter the wonderful language used in poetry. This provides children with the opportunity to turn an encounter with text into something rhythmic and playful. So far, we have yet to conduct research into the impact of participation in the service-learning program on the literacy gains and academic gains of children. Future research should address this. We also seek to expand our research on the meaning-making of preservice teachers who participate in the program.

Service learning is an important part of the curriculum of a College of Education. Preservice teachers can interact with parents and to overcome biases as well as stereotypes that may exist. Further, preservice teachers gain skill in working with children and families. We hope this article furthers discussion into ways that Colleges of Education can guide preservice teachers to skillfully engage in service learning activities in the area of literacy while promoting the moral development of preservice teachers. Finally, we hope that this article will provide guidance to practicing teachers as they seek to build the literacy skills of a child through read-aloud activities while working in partnership with families.


Burkins, J., & Croft, M.M. (2017). Preventing misguided reading: Next generation guided reading strategies. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse.

Burkins, J., & Yaris, K. (2016). Who’s doing the work?: How to say less so readers can do more. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse.

Eva-Wood, A.L. (2004). How think and feel aloud instruction influences poetry readers. Discourse Processes, 38 (2), 173-192.

Farrant, B.M., & Zubrick, S.R. (2012). Early vocabulary development: The importance of joint attention and parent-child book reading. First Language, 32 (3), 343–364.

Friere, P., & Macedo, D. (1987). Literacy: Reading the word and the world. South Hadley, MA: Bergin & Garvey.

Harvey, S., & Goudvis, A. (2017). Strategies that work: Teaching comprehension for engagement, understanding, and building knowledge, K-8 (3rd Ed.). Portsmouth, NH: Stenhouse.

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Lukes, S.M. (1974). Power: A radical view. London: Macmillan.

Massaro, D.W. (2017). Reading aloud to children: Benefits and implications for acquiring literacy before schooling begins. American Journal of Psychology, 130 (1), 63-72.

Mol, S.E. & Bus, A.G. (2011). To Read or Not to Read: A Meta-Analysis of Print Exposure from Infancy to Early Adulthood. Psychological Bulletin, 137, 267–296

Rasinski, T., & Cheesman-Smith, M. (2018). The Megabook of Fluency. New York: Scholastic.

Ready, D.D., & Wright, D.L. (2011). Accuracy and inaccuracy in teachers' perceptions of young children's cognitive abilities: The role of child background and classroom context. American Educational Research Journal, 48 (2) (2011), pp. 335-360.

Schwartz, L., Goble, L., English, N., & Bailey, R. (2006). Poetry in America: Review of the findings. NORC/The University of Chicago: submitted to The Poetry Foundation.

Sulzby, E., & Teale, W.H. (1987). Young Children’s Storybook Reading: Longitudinal Study of Parent-Child Interaction and Children’s Independent Functioning. Final Report. Retrieved from ED334541.pdf

Swanson, E., Vaughn, S., Wanzek, J., Petscher, Y., Heckert, J., Cavanaugh, C., Kraft, G., & Tackett, K. (2011). A synthesis of read-aloud interventions on early reading outcomes among preschool through third graders at risk for reading difficulties. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 44 (3), 258–275.

Trelease, J. (2013). The read-aloud handbook (7th Ed.). New York, NY: Penguin.

Dr. William Kerns is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at Harris-Stowe State University. Prior to entering higher education, William worked as an English teacher as well as a reading teacher and reading

specialist. His university teaching specialties are in the areas of English language arts, literacy, assessment, and philosophical foundations of education.

Dr. Betty Porter Walls is an associate professor in the College of Education at Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU). She has presented at the Early Learning and Write to Learn Conferences in Missouri, nationally for the International Literacy/Reading Association (ILA),

National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE), National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER), and other organizations; she consults with school districts nationally and in Missouri. A published author, her research interests include social justice, literacy/children’s literature, family and community engagement, academic achievement of minority populations. Dr. Walls has received numerous honors and awards.