The Union Recorder

January 31, 2013

GC symposium to focus discussions on 21st century literacy

Vaishali Patel
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Keynote speakers from the community and across the nation will share and discuss the implications of literacy from a local, national and global perspective with the public during the sixth annual Georgia College Global Citizenship Symposium, titled “Literacy, Learning, Leading: Education for a 21st Century World.”

“The Global Citizenship Symposium is an annual effort. Every year we look at different issues that have a local, national and global impact. In the past we have worked on personal health and around the world, environmental justice and poverty,” said Gregg Kaufman, American Democracy Project coordinator. “This year, our focus is on literacy. We’re delighted to welcome speakers not only from around the nation, but people from within our own community, including leaders and educators, to participate in discussing the importance of literacy in our community as well as in the world.”

Sponsored by the International Education Center, American Democracy Project, Georgia College academic departments, and faculty and student organizations, the three-day Global Symposium activities are free and open to the public. Events begin Monday and will run through Wednesday in the Student Activities Center in the Magnolia Ballroom, unless the schedule states otherwise.

Beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, Carol Sapp will moderate a panel discussion on health literacy and patient safety followed by break out sessions focusing on living wills, the durable power of attorney, readability of health literature, access to health care and personal health records. There will be a 2 p.m. showing of the documentary film “Race to Nowhere” before a 4 p.m. children’s show about the power of literacy with an anti-bullying message.

“The keynote speaker for Monday will be a college freshman from Harvard University [Alex Wirth] who has an interest with youth involvement in government from local to international levels. He will talk about building a campaign for change,” Kaufman said. “He was appointed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO.”

On Tuesday, academic leaders workshop is scheduled at 11 a.m. followed by a 4 p.m. performance of Puccini’s “Crisantemi” by Dan Auerbach and a string quartet. The 7 p.m. keynote address of “Journey to Publicly Engaged Scholarship” will be given by Dr. John Saltmarsh of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Dr. Timothy Eatman of Syracuse University.

“They’re both experts in public scholarship and national leaders in the field of civic education at the college level. They take what you’re learning in the classroom and tie it in with community needs and concerns,” Kaufman said. “It’s about building partnerships with people with have a great deal of community knowledge and people who have particular knowledge in an academic field who can help in community issues.”

The symposium will conclude Wednesday with keynote speaker Dr. Barbara Levin, of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, discussing “21st Century Learning, Technology and Leadership” at noon. A panel of Northeast High School educators will also share “Campaign 2012: An Interdisciplinary Project Integrating Mathematics, Government, Technology and Literacy” at 1 p.m. 

“[Levin’s] specialty is using technology in k-12 education to develop literacy skills. Our young people live in a very high-tech age and our educators are learning how to leverage tremendous advances to technology to help students learn even more efficiently,” Kaufman said.

At 2 p.m., a keynote panel will discuss education challenges in a 21st century, including Georgia College Early College Principal Dr. Runee Salad followed by the Baldwin County Academic Achievement Panel at 7 p.m., consisting of Lyn Chandler, Baldwin County Board of Education; Dr. Jim Lidstone, Live Healthy Baldwin advocate; Linda Watson Kaufman, Georgia College Afterschool coordinator; Richard Hartry, YES Program Adult Education; Sandy Baxter, Communities In Schools of Milledgeville-Baldwin County; Gregory Barnes, Campus Club Milledgeville; Dr. Charles Martin, Georgia College Center for Program Evaluation and Development; Dr. Ben Scafidi, professor of economics, Dr. Rosalie Richards, Georgia College Science Education Center; and Dr. Joe Mocnik, Georgia College University librarian.

“The Wednesday evening event is going to be very positive appreciative inquiry approach to the question of, “are we making progress in Baldwin County in our educational system?,” said Kaufman, who will moderate the academic achievement panel discussion. “While the three R’s, reading, writing and arithmetic, informed 19th and 20th century teaching, 21st century education must add the four C’s, which are critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration and creativity. We must prepare students for multiple careers and the ability to adapt to change.”

At 8 p.m., the public can share ideas and have an input in the conversation about literacy within one of four discussion groups focusing on health, nutrition and fitness literacy, race as a factor in Baldwin County’s education culture, workforce development, and the key literacy skills needed and expected as students move into the 21st century.

“I hope people not only gain appreciation for a variety of literacy information, but I hope they are inspired to become involved in their local communities to advance literacy for those who don’t have a formal education and those who are in schools,” Kaufman said.

For more information about the three-day event, featured speakers, or detailed schedule, visit www.gcsu.edu/adp/citizenship.htm.

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