Success Stories

Teacher leads local after-school program

Megan Brickner

After teaching in traditional schools, Megan Brickner now works for an after-school literacy program in Grand Rapids.

Brickner graduated from Grand Valley in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in elementary education. After teaching in East Lansing and Holland, Brickner is now teaching at the Salvation Army Kroc Center’s Schools of Hope literacy program.

The program is aimed at improving literacy rates in first- and third-grade students in Grand Rapids Public Schools. It uses a certified teacher and an assistant in the room to address the needs of the group.

Schools of Hope specifically aims at increasing fluency and comprehension by using Evidence Based Learning Instruction to teach students how to attack words and see patterns in language.

“With this, students can recognize sounds that letter sounds make,” Brickner said.
Classroom curriculum consists of intensive instruction and then time for students to practice their skills. “We do a 90-minute literacy instruction and then give time for students to write or do word works and individual reading time. Students have time to practice their skills,” Brickner said.

Brickner credits Grand Valley along with her experiences in other schools with her current success at the Kroc Center. She said her past experiences have helped her apply her knowledge to current position.

"I enjoy being in the community. I’m only blocks away from where I work," Brickner said. “Maybe one day I return to the traditional classroom setting, however, I am learning so much working with diverse populations of students and families and adding to my overall experience as an educator.”

by Jarrett Weber