Life, Literacy, and the Pursuit of Happiness

reading presenters

Kimberly Jefferson (center) and students

Teaching is more than a profession; it is a calling from God. I answered this call by pursuing an education at GSEP. After completing courses in Language Acquisition and Language Arts Methods taught by Dr. Cara Garcia, professor of education, I narrowed my focus from general education to literacy. This decision led me to pursue an even deeper understanding of reading theory, and following graduation I earned my Reading Specialist Credential, Reading Certificate, and a second master’s in reading, language arts from California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). In 2008 I was honored with CSUSB’s prestigious Outstanding Student of the Year award.

I am a full-time faculty member in the Department of Reading and Study Skills at San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC). The department offers a range of courses spanning all skills and ability levels, from developmental literacy to transfer-level courses. The majority of students in the program typically assess between the fourth- and 10th-grade reading levels. Some will transfer to universities; some will earn certificates; some will take a class on how to become critical readers and thinkers. Whatever the students’ goals, I am here to support them.

To make learning more comprehensible, reading classes should be offered in multiple instructional models: face-to-face, hybrid, and online. Alternative reading courses can make literacy instruction more accessible to our diverse community of learners. As such, I am working with a team of advisers at SBVC to design online and hybrid reading courses that increase the accessibility of literacy to our broader community. According to renowned abolitionist, editor, and orator Frederick Douglass, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” My goal is to empower students through literacy; live a life of purpose, service, and leadership; and, with God’s grace, touch the lives of many.

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