Heather-Lee Baron

Third Place

Prize Awarded:
Union City Middle-High School
Union City, PA

Project Description:

Baron's winning idea, "LITERATE", is an early literacy outreach program to provide a blueprint for high school students at Union City Middle-High School who want to help young children learn to read. Each year, Baron will work with 15-25 incoming freshmen to instruct them on emergent literacy education. Under her tutelage, the students will learn how to teach reading strategies and skills to socially disadvantaged families with young children throughout the district. The project's goal is to provide participating students with real-world teaching experience while developing their social skills and self confidence. The project will also help parents better understand how to aid in their children's learning. Students in the program will reach out to specific segments of the community - particularly teenage mothers attending the school - by employing a variety of reading strategies to improve overall literacy. Tools at their disposal will include literacy games, educational toys, word games, CDs and books. With this type of early intervention, Baron believes, she can help create an entire generation of young readers who are more prepared than ever to enter kindergarten. Baron is a resident of Edinboro.