Professor Dr. Hazel Katz Awarded Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grant

Dr. Hazel Katz

Dr. Hazel Katz, Brenau University associate professor of education from Hoschton, Georgia, has been awarded a 2014 Literacy Grant by the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. She is one of 14 recipients nationwide to receive the award.

The grant will support the “Improving Higher Order Literacy Skills through Reading and Writing” project. Dr. Katz will use the award to provide high-interest literacy activities that allow first-grade students to learn a variety of reading and writing skills. Using the skills learned, the students research, write and illustrate their own book, participate in a video interview, and promote and sign their book at an “Author of the Day” event.

According to Katz, her project involves five first-grade teachers, 100 first-grade students and the media specialist at West Jackson Primary School, a diverse, rural school in Jackson County. Through assistance of the Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grant, the project aims to increase achievement in all areas of literacy including reading, writing, listening, speaking, critical thinking and creative expressions.

“I’ve been at Brenau since 2001 and teach literacy and foundation classes in the College of Education. I frequently supervise student teachers in Jackson County and my granddaughter attended West Jackson Primary and West Jackson Intermediate School,” said Katz.

The Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grant program was initiated in 2003 to provide funding to Phi Kappa Phi chapters and active members for ongoing projects or new initiatives that reinforce part of the society’s mission “to engage the community of scholars in service to others.” Drawing from a multi-disciplinary society of students and scholars from large and small institutions, applicants are encouraged to consider literacy projects that have creative relevance to their disciplines and to the needs of their communities.

Founded in 1897, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Phi Kappa Phi inducts approximately 32,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni annually. The society has chapters at more than 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify. The society’s mission is “to recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.”

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