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Muskingum Students Support Straker Foundation Literacy Initiatives
Straker Literacy Group

Muskingum University has recently partnered with The Straker Foundation to help promote literacy initiatives in the greater community. Students majoring in AYA Language Arts, AYA Art Education, and Middle Childhood Education were selected to serve as judges for The Mary Helen Straker Award in Writing competition.

The following students participated:

  • Amaris Carpenter, a junior Education major from Independence, KY
  • Haley Frazier, a senior English major from Heath, OH
  • Peyton Joy, a sophomore Education major from Zanesville, OH
  • Kody Melvin, a senior Art major from Zanesville, OH
  • Courtney Rose, a sophomore Education major from Dover, OH
  • Audra Wills, a senior English major from Somerset, OH

In its second year, this writing competition has been expanded to include sophomore and junior high-school students across all instructional tiers, including Tier II and Tier III. Students compete by responding to the prompt, “Thinking About Home,” after reading, A Princess Found: An American Family, an African Chiefdom, and the Daughter Who Connected Them All, by Sarah Culberson. 

“We are excited to support The Straker Foundation’s work in promoting literacy efforts at all levels of learning,” noted Dr. Laura Reed, Assistant Professor of Education. “Serving the community in this way gives our preservice teachers authentic experience practicing their craft as well as opportunities to encourage aspiring student writers. Our students welcomed volunteering to promote classroom engagement with this powerful text and grow professionally in their training.”

Named for one of the Foundation’s founders, Mary Helen Straker was a journalist, novelist and essayist. Her daughter, Susan Holdren, currently serves as president and executive director of The Straker Foundation. Last year, over 140 entries were received for the chance to win three $500 cash prizes per district and one $2000 grand prize. Contest winners and Muskingum education students are looking forward to meeting and engaging with the author in person during the awards ceremony scheduled for later this month.

Straker Literacy Students

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