UT Penta Reading Partnership

. September 5, 2012.

Joanna Weaver says teens are reading more than we think — they’re just not necessarily reading books. They’re inundated with words scrolling across their tech devices — phones, computers and iPads — and Weaver, a doctoral student in literacy at the University of Toledo, wants to take advantage of those opportunities for learning. After working at Owens Community College teaching adults literacy skills, she realized early intervention for students with borderline literacy problems was essential. “It’s a very big problem,” Weaver says. “Many times literacy is overlooked when it comes to adolescence, because people look at learning to read as an elementary school problem.”

These issues inspired Weaver to start the UT Penta Reading Partnership in August. Teens from Penta will pair with UT students to learn reading strategies and to hone their skills by using “authentic reading materials” like cookbooks, magazines and manuals. “With teenagers you have the issues with attitude, and we want to break through that,” Weaver says. “We think by using authentic literacy materials, we will. They’re reading it because it applies to their own life.” For more information about the program, e-mail Weaver at 419-530-2832 or joanna.weaver@utoledo.edu