NSU education majors give the gift of reading to Broken Arrow elementary students


Northeastern State University-Broken Arrow students have wrapped up another semester of providing hands-on reading education to area elementary students, furthering the university’s longstanding tradition as a reading skills resource to surrounding communities.

The fall 2022 semester was especially impactful to the local community as it was the first time the students were able to work right in their backyard atRhoades Elementary in Broken Arrow Public Schools.

Dr. Stephan Sargent and his reading education classes visited the elementary school each week to provide second and third grade students one-on-one reading tutoring. Each one of Sargent’s students tailor that week’s lesson specifically for the child they are instructing.

“I think the most rewarding part for me is to see students who are scared to death to teach reading lessons start feeling comfortable when they know how to teach a child to read,” Sargent said.

For many NSU education students, this is their first experience in a teaching position in a classroom, before they start their student teaching in the following semesters.

This immersive learning opportunity allows education students to sharpen their teaching skills on a smaller scale before they are charged with overseeing a whole class of students.

The experience is meaningful for both the future educators and the elementary students and even allows for some fun on the journey of learning.

“Working with the students in the reading clinic has impacted me by seeing what a difference you can make in one student’s life,” NSU early childhood education senior Abigail Leffingwell said. “I think the reading clinic has impacted the students by showing them how learning can be fun. Lots of students came into this thinking they weren’t going to like it, but soon they learned that our time together would be filled with fun games and activities in reading.”

Sargent is proud to have a hand in training the next generation of teachers, many of whom will go on to teach in and improve the local community.

“We're preparing amazing reading teachers for the Broken Arrow community at a time of a terrible teacher shortage,” Sargent said. “The second thing is we're providing free clinical reading services to children who likely could not have tutoring otherwise. I think both of those are amazing services to the community.”

NSU has offered reading resources to the communities surrounding its campuses for most of the institution’s history. The reading center on the Broken Arrow campus opened in 2002 and has been providing reading skills tutoring to local elementary students ever since.

In addition to the reading resources available on the NSU-Broken Arrow campus, education classes also go into public schools on a weekly basis each semester to build elementary students’ reading skills.

To learn more about the Broken Arrow Reading Center and other K-12 outreach programs at NSU-Broken Arrow, visit https://www.nsuok.edu/Outreach/ProgramsforK12.aspx.

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