Connecting a Community through a Family Literacy Project and Virtual Writing Collaboration

University Students Facilitate Access to Literature during the Pandemic


  • Dr. Anne Katz Georgia Southern University
  • Alexandra Sledge-Tollerson Georgia Southern University



community literacy, partnership literacies, middle grades, writing conferences


The importance of accessing and sharing children’s literature took on new meaning as educators pivoted to remote and online learning models over the course of the past school year. In light of the pandemic, College of Education pre-service educators enrolled in a Fall 2020 Language and Literacy Development course (which is usually scheduled to meet face-to-face twice a week) was re-structured as hybrid, where a group of students was scheduled to meet partially face-to-face and partially online weekly. I planned to adapt my family literacy project collaboration with a local community center, an academic service learning assignment that I incorporate each semester as part of the course. A second community literacy project embedded in the course involved reading and discussing Look both ways: A tale told in ten blocks (Reynolds, 2019), short stories that detail experiences of middle school characters on their walk home from school. My original plan was for both middle school students and pre-service educators to draft personal place-based writing short stories- inspired by the mentor text- and participate in writing conferences. Instead, Zoom sessions were conducted in which both sets of students virtually conferenced about their writing pieces when schedules allowed. In this manner, authentic conversations about writing were being cultivated through a virtual approach.

Author Biographies

  • Dr. Anne Katz, Georgia Southern University

    Dr. Anne Katz ([email protected]) is an Associate Professor of Reading at Georgia Southern University, where she teaches courses in literacy and reading. Her research focuses on reading comprehension and literacy instruction.

  • Alexandra Sledge-Tollerson, Georgia Southern University

    Alexandra Sledge-Tollerson ([email protected]) is a student in the Early Childhood Education program at Georgia Southern University.

Family Literacy and Virtual Writing Collaboration (Katz & Sledge-Tollerson, 2021)






Research and Practitioner Articles

How to Cite

Katz, A., & Sledge-Tollerson, A. (2021). Connecting a Community through a Family Literacy Project and Virtual Writing Collaboration: University Students Facilitate Access to Literature during the Pandemic. Georgia Journal of Literacy, 44(1), 24-40.

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