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Literacy Lab: Evangel University’s annual free reading clinic

Published on Jun 15, 2017 by Paul K. Logsdon

Katelyn Schmitt works with local students as part of her Masters of Education in Literacy work at Evangel University. She graduated from EU in 2015 and has taught 2nd and 3rd grade at Willard East Elementary. Background, Springfield schools 1st grade teacher Kendall Shores works one-on-one with a student. // PHOTO BY: Paul K. Logsdon


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Evangel University is hosting a free reading clinic this month, providing one-on-one literacy support for K-12 students who signed up earlier this spring. The tutors are local teachers who are enrolled in the Master of Education in Literacy program at EU.

The Literacy Lab runs May 30 through June 22, Monday through Thursday mornings. Each student will receive a total of sixteen 60-minute reading sessions.

“Our graduate students are working one-on-one and in small groups during two sessions each morning, serving 57 local students,” said Dr. Shonna Crawford, chair of the Department of Education.

“Our program is designed to equip classroom teachers for the current demand for literacy achievement,” said Crawford. “We also prepare future reading specialists for Title 1 reading programs and empower educators to become strong literacy leaders in their schools.”

The annual Literacy Lab enables master’s-level students at Evangel to obtain real world experience, as well as the practicum (internship) hours needed for their Reading Specialist Certification in Missouri. Reading specialists are in high demand.

“Throughout these sessions, they analyze and diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of each student reader, then develop a plan to help them grow,” said Dr. Becky Huechteman, professor emeritus.

New this year

More than 100 creative activities for Evangel’s Summer Literacy Program were developed this past year by undergraduate students enrolled in the class, Analysis and Correction of Reading Difficulties.

“Our students were excited by this opportunity, because it gave them an authentic audience for their class projects,” said Crawford. “A part of their challenge was to write specific instructions for the graduate students to teach from.”

Undergrad students developed word games, a Lego building game, word battleship, and a whole array of ready-made activities for the Literacy Lab.

Sign up for next year

The clinic will be repeated next summer.

The free sessions are available to elementary, middle and high school students, whether they are in public school, private school, or home school.

Families interested in next summer’s clinic should contact the Evangel University Education Department via email at, or call (417) 865-2815, ext. 8548.



1) Dr. Shonna Crawford was interviewed by KOLR-10 (CBS News), Monday morning, June 19, 2017. As is typical, there were a couple of versions of the story aired on the news that evening and again the next morning. Click here to see one version and read another.


2)  The Springfield News-Leader placed the story on the front page of Section C on Tuesday, June 20, 2017.