Society & Culture

UGA College of Education to host poverty/reading workshops in Albany

Athens, Ga. – Two workshops for area educators-one focusing on effective teaching methods to reach students from poor and working-class families and the other on high-quality reading instruction and literacy contexts for all children-will be hosted by the University of Georgia College of Education March 21-22 at Country Inn and Suites in Albany.

“The Other Side of Poverty in Schools,” an intensive, one-day workshop on March 21, is designed for teachers, administrators, counselors and teacher educators. It will focus on developing research-based teaching practices, reflecting on formative assessment across the curriculum, incorporating social class-related content and formulating ideas for establishing positive relationships with working-class and poor families. Workshop participants will:

• Learn about the five principles for change to better meet the needs of working-class and poor students;
• Develop research-based teaching practices sensitive to working-class and poor children and families;
• Reflect on formative assessment of working-class and poor students across the curriculum;
• Receive classroom ideas for incorporating social class-related content; and
• Learn about establishing positive relationships with working-class and poor families.

“The Reading Turn-Around Program,” a one-day workshop March 22, is designed for teachers in elementary grades, instructional coaches, literacy coaches, administrators, after-school specialists, tutors and administrators who want to provide the highest-quality reading instruction and literacy contexts for all children. Workshop participants will:

• Learn about the social class-sensitive, five-part framework for differentiated instruction in reading;
• Examine how social class and poverty play a role in reading and language in the classroom;
• Analyze social class and poverty in popular culture, media and literature through critical reading practices;
• Design learning opportunities around working-class children’s literature; and
• Create a concrete plan for individualizing reading instruction for struggling readers and enhancing literacy for all students.

The workshops are part of the Classroom Project @ UGA initiative developed by Stephanie Jones, an associate professor in the College of Education’s department of elementary and social studies education, and former UGA faculty member Mark Vagle, now a professor in elementary education at the University of Minnesota.

Jones is a researcher, professional developer, education consultant and former elementary school teacher. She is the author of the book, “Girls, Social Class and Literacy: What Teachers Can Do to Make a Difference” and co-author of “The Reading Turn-Around: A Five-Part Framework for Differentiated Instruction.”

Vagle, also a researcher, is a former elementary and middle school teacher and administrator. He is co-editor of the book, “Developmentalism in Early Childhood and Middle Grades Education: Critical Conservations on Readiness and Responsiveness.” His research focuses on moment-to-moment classroom interactions and how they influence and impact student learning.

Jaye Thiel, project associate and a graduate teaching assistant in the UGA College of Education, will also serve as an instructor.

Each workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost for “The Other Side of Poverty in Schools” is $125, which includes workshop materials and refreshment breaks. The cost for “The Reading Turn-Around” is $150, which includes instructional materials and a copy of the book, “The Reading Turn-Around: A Five-Part Framework for Differentiated Instruction.” The Registration deadline for both workshops is March 18.

For more information on these and other workshops see

To register online see