“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”
-Benjamin Franklin


  • Introduction to literacy education and practice with a primary emphasis on cultural diversity issues in contemporary U.S. society
  • More comprehensive understanding of issues discussed in linked literature course
  • Development of critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, communication, and leadership skills\


According to the federal Reading Excellence Act of 1999, national assessments reflect “serious deficiencies in children’s ability to read, especially in high-poverty schools” such as those served by Service Learning Program internships. Even in wealthier schools, almost a quarter of fourth-graders do not attain the basic reading levels set by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, while more than two-thirds of fourth-graders in high poverty schools do not attain the basic level. (Reading Excellence Program overview, http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/REA/overview.html.) The failure to learn to read or to read well has many ramifications including diminished self-confidence and motivation to learn, poor school performance, and an increase in the probability of dropping out of high school. Thus, the service objectives of this internship are:

  • to improve the basic literacy skills of third graders at Kennedy Elementary School in Phoenix
  • recognize the importance of validating the children’s own culture and experiences by utilizing culturally relevant children’s books with positive depictions of the children’s and other ethnic groups—specifically African-Americans and Latina(o)s
  • even more fundamentally, interns will serve as a positive influence in their students’ lives, providing a counterpoint to the harsh socio-economic realities many of these children face on a daily basis



A central objective of this course is to provide you with community experiences and reflection opportunities that allow you to deepen your understanding of the complex social, economic, political, and psychological dimensions of relations between and among racial, ethnic, and socio-economic groups in contemporary American society. Much of this learning will take place as you carry out your internship activities and interact with community members from diverse backgrounds; weekly readings will provide a theoretical context to further your exploration of these experiences. Your understanding of cultural diversity in our society will be enhanced by thinking critically about your community interactions and what you have read, by responding weekly in an on-line discussion group to prompts designed to help you examine your previously-held assumptions, and by reading and responding to other intern’s posted perspectives.


Interns must be enrolled in or have successfully completed the linked literature course (pre/co-requisite): ENG 459/ENG 559/AFH 459 African American Children’s Literature


• The Service Learning Program African/American Latina(o) Children’s Literature Intern Manual

• The Service Learning Program Reflection Manual


  • Attendance is mandatory at all training sessions, weekly meetings, and teaching days
  • Complete all assignments (training, mid, and end-of-semester)
  • Lead small groups of children in literacy activities twice a week
  • Participate in computer-mediated reflection (two entries per week)
  • Write student evaluations for each of your students at mid-term and end-of-semester
  • Write final reflection assignment




A. Training (max. 10 points per session):

The first two weeks of this course are devoted to workshops designed to prepare you for working with your students.

  • Attendance at these workshops is mandatory.
  • Points are based upon: punctuality, preparation, participation, & productive contribution.
  • Please consult the Calendar (in the DAILY RESOURCES section of PART I: THE BASICS in this manual) for a detailed Training Schedule.

B. Weekly Meetings (max. 10 points per session)

Meetings are held each week to reflect on that week’s activities, discuss issues, ideas, and generally lend each other support. Points are based upon: punctuality, participation, & productive contribution.


Depending upon the number of students and interns, the class will be divided into several small groups of 2-5 students each. An intern will head each small group and engage the students in the day’s activities. You will work with the same small group of children all semester.

Each intern is required to prepare and implement literacy activities designed to meet the needs of the students in his/her group. There should be a written plan for each teaching day, which is to be submitted to your facilitator the week prior to its implementation. You may earn a max. 20 points for each lesson as follows:

A. Planning the lesson plan (max. 10pts)

There should be a written activity plan (see Activity Planner in DAILY RESOURCES section of this manual) for each teaching day, which is to be submitted to your facilitator the week prior to its implementation.

Points are based upon the thoroughness, thoughtfulness, creativity, and appropriateness of the activity plans.

Plans should evidence an attempt to tailor the activities to the needs of your particular students.

B. Teaching (implementation of the lesson plan) (max. 10 pts)


Blackboard is utilized for the computer-mediated reflection portion of the internship. Through the online discussion group on Blackboard, interns reflect upon assigned readings and the week’s activities, practice self-critique, and offer support to fellow interns.

  • Two Blackboard entries worth a total of 15 pts. are due each week, one by midnight Wednesday and by midnight on Sunday.


All assignments (except the final reflection assignment) are graded on a 10-point scale.


To maximize your effectiveness and performance in this internship it is strongly encouraged that you maintain an organized portfolio (Service Learning Notebook) of all course materials.

It is suggested that you utilize a large 3-ring binder for this purpose and include the following in an orderly fashion with tabs labeling each section:

  • Internship Directory
  • Field Trip write-up
  • Student Rosters
  • Assignments
  • Lesson Plans (in chronological order and including all related materials)

Grading Scale:

A = 92-100% B = 82-91% C = 72-81% D = 65-71% E = below 6




Each intern is required to prepare and implement literacy activities designed to meet the needs of the students in his/her group.

You may earn a max. 30 points for each lesson as follows:

  • Planning (max. 15 pts)
  • Implementation (max. 15 pts)

At each teaching session (twice a week) the points you earn will be based upon the following:

  • Attendance & Punctuality: There are no excused absences—no make-up activities are possible. Points will be deducted for tardiness—also 3 tardies is equivalent to one absence. In the event of an emergency or illness you must contact (directly, do not leave a message) your Supervising Intern.
  • Appropriate Dress: Please refer to the Dress Code in this manual. This code must be observed whenever you are with your students. Violations of this code will result in a loss of points.
  • Preparation: Demonstrates time spent reviewing activity plan and content and thought given to the best mode of implementation for your students
  • Professional: Positive attitude and respect towards students, fellow interns, TA, and classroom teacher
  • Engaging/Creative: Maintains students’ focus on lesson. Actively engages students in the book and activities. Animated delivery. Enthusiasm for the book/activities. Stimulation of productive discussion/participation. Effective utilization and integration of any audio/visual aids or supplemental materials. Effective behavior management


• Thoughtfully and thoroughly completing the “Report” section of the Activity Planner (see DAILY RESOURCES section of this manual) after implementation of lesson. Completed activity planners are to be submitted on the following Tuesday.


Blackboard is utilized for the computer-mediated reflection portion of the internship. Through the online discussion group on Blackboard, interns reflect upon their internship experience within the context of assigned readings. In responding to the prompts, you should incorporate past life experience as well as your experiences in the internship.

  • Two Blackboard entries worth a total of 20 pts are due each week by Sunday at midnight.
  • Late entries may be submitted for a maximum of 10pts by Monday midnight. No credit will be given for any posts that are more than a day late.
  • Please refer to the REFLECTION section in this manual for the required format for these entries and for instructions on how to use Blackboard.


A. Mid-Semester & Final Assignments:

  • At midterm and at the end of the semester you must complete Student evaluations for all 4 groups
  • (each one worth 10 points – total of 40) and a Best Reflection assignment (worth 10 points).
  • Your Final consists of a Paper and Portfolio.
  • Check the manual for assignment criteria and due dates.
  • All assignments must be typed in a legible font (such as Arial, Times New Roman, etc.)
    • 1. Student Evaluations (turn in two copies)
    • 2. Best Reflection
    • 3. Final Paper (turn in two copies; due only at end of semester)