The Selkregg Community Engagement & Service Learning Award of $5,000 supports faculty to develop community-based research, creative activity, and course-based service-learning projects. The award seeks to encourage, inspire, and reward faculty at UAA for engaged scholarship that creates and sustains our community partnerships. Purposes of the award are to recognize community engagement projects with significant discipline-based scholarship, community partnership, and student leadership development. The projects ultimately aim to improve the quality of life for Alaska residents and develop civic leadership, democracy, and social justice on campus and in the community.
Congratulations to the 2015 Selkregg Award Recipient
Kathryn Ohle, Early Childhood Education
Community Partners: Unite for Literacy and Head Start
Professor Ohle's project "Supporting the Preservation of Native Languages and Encouraging Early Literacy with Children's Books" seeks to provide children's books to families, children, and teachers in Alaska Native languages through the use of a free digital library with translated texts, as delivered through UniteForLiteracy.com.
Linguistically unique educational needs are especially prominent in Alaska, as Native students currently have lower rates in literacy achievement and higher rates of high school dropouts than any other group of students. The need to preserve Alaska Native languages might be even greater, for the average Alaska Native tongue has fewer than 1,000 speakers, the majority of whom are over the age of 70.
Dr. Ohle's work with language preservation and early literacy is based on recommendations from the Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council.Promoting whole family learning and speaking, with a focus on early childhood literacy, is a best practice for reinforcing Alaska Native languages and culture.
Award Background and Previous Recipients