"Concepts to Go" Early Literacy Bags

Submitted by Micheal Sayler | Published December 6, 2017

In 2017, Dr. Christina Mirtes was awarded a $5,000 grant from Women in Philanthropy at EMU to support her project “Concepts to Go!”. This funded Dr. Mirtes to purchase and create nearly 100 custom bags containing developmentally appropriate early childhood education (Pre-K - 3) books and materials included to support early literacy and intentional teaching in the content areas (Art, English Language Arts, Music, Math, Physical Movement, Science and Social Studies).

Under her supervision, students enrolled in ECE 342 wrote Lesson Plans and Content Resource cards to supplement each trans-disciplinary bag, respectively. The bags are available for our pre-service teachers to "check out" for implementation at the Children’s Institute at EMU, practicum experiences or while they are student teaching in the community.

Consequently, this endeavor has served as a seedling project for a larger research project. As a part of the Symposium for Undergraduate Research Fellow (SURF) program, Dr. Mirtes is serving as a distinguished faculty mentor who is paired with Ms. Melanie Prince, a freshman majoring in Early Childhood Elementary Education. The SURF research forum allows students to extend their educational experience and academic passion beyond the classroom and have the opportunity to present research at EMU’s Undergraduate Symposium this spring. Additionally, Dr. Mirtes, with the assistance of Ms. Prince, have been accepted to present the findings of this project at a state early childhood STEAM conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan this February. Funding for SURF was provided by EMU Regent, Mike Morris and his wife, Linda.