The University of Alabama

UA Students Receive Scholarships from Best-Selling Author

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarships were recently awarded to eight College of Education students at The University of Alabama.

Karie Deerman, of Woodstock, Jessica Dupre, of Willis, Texas, Kristen Hawkins, of Decatur, Heather Henson, of  Vestavia Hills, Meredith Hogue, of Elrod, Brooke Jackson, of Clarksville, Tenn., Savannah Perkins, of Mobile, and Caroline Rector, of Franklin, Tenn., each received $7,500 of the $60,000 contribution from best-selling author James Patterson.

The Patterson Scholarship is intended to prepare future teachers to promote the importance of literacy in education. Recipients are encouraged to instill in their future students an everlasting love of reading.

“Children learn and pick up on things by observing others,” said Hawkins, an elementary education major. “If reading and literacy are important in my life, then my children will hopefully hold them in importance in their lives, too.”

As future educators, the Patterson Scholars hope to make reading intriguing for students in their classrooms. Each of them has plans to instill a deep understanding of the importance reading can have on a child’s life. They want their students to look forward to reading and acknowledge that it is their responsibility to foster an active engagement in literacy at an early age.

“I believe students will realize the importance of reading when they have developed a love for reading,”  Deerman said. “If teachers provide students with interesting and engaging books, students will begin to enjoy reading and develop a sense of the importance of literacy in their daily lives.”

The Patterson Scholars acknowledge the vital role literacy plays in all aspects of education. They understand that good reading skills build the foundation for literacy and a gateway to all learning.

“Reading allows children to be able to comprehend and learn a wide variety of topics and grow academically in their later years,” said Rector, a collaborative special education major.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.