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Bridget Clark

STAC’s Summer Literacy Program Incorporates Podcasting
Students practice reading fluency with streaming media

(SPARKILL, NY – July 26, 2010)  -- St. Thomas Aquinas College’s Summer Literacy Program introduces a creative motivation with daily podcasts for students who struggle in reading.  Funding for the program was provided through a generous grant from Verizon.  The podcasting program allows students and their teachers to stream original poems, stories, and conversations via a link on the College’s website.

During the month of July, the College hosts a summer literacy clinic for students, grades 1-12, who struggle in reading. It also serves as a final step for teachers who will earn their NY State Literacy Certification at the master's or post-master's level.

Student motivation is developed through creative learning experiences including musical readers’ theater coordinated by Dr. Evan Matthews, Assistant Professor of Music, reading to trained dogs that are certified to be listeners, and developing research projects based on the student’s interest. Readers' theater is a method for increasing fluency and comprehension by having students read published stories and original stories/poems while acting them out. Parent evaluations show that this program makes a significant impact on student learning when they return to school in the Fall.

 “This has been the most exciting new initiative in all my years of directing the program,” exclaimed Dr. Michael Shaw, Professor of Education and Director of the Summer Literacy Clinic. “Teachers, students, and families are thrilled. This project promotes everything a struggling learner needs: motivation, engagement, fluency, comprehension, and oral language development.” The daily podcasts of original works and poetry are available through a link on the College’s website,

On Friday, July 30, at 10:00 am in the Sullivan Theater the Clinic will host its family culminating celebration.  Here the students demonstrate their progress with presentations featuring the students’ original research on a topic of interest and performances of their musical reader’s theater projects.  This year St. Thomas has partnered with the East Ramapo Central School District, the only high-needs District in Rockland, to include students from their District into the program.

For more information the Summer Literacy Clinic, please contact Dr. Michael Shaw at 845-398-4079 or

St. Thomas Aquinas College is an independent liberal arts college located in Sparkill, NY which provides education at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  The College’s 2,700 full and part time students can choose from almost 100 different majors, minors, specializations, and dual degree programs across five divisions: Humanities; Business Administration; Social Sciences; Natural Sciences & Mathematics; and Teacher Education programs. For more information visit


St. Thomas Aquinas College
125 Route 340
Sparkill, NY 10976



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