Tara Maxson aspires to be an expert in English Language and literacy acquisition within the next 10 years, having published works on effective …
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Tara Maxson aspires to be an expert in English Language and
literacy acquisition within the next 10 years, having published
works on effective strategies for teaching linguistically diverse
In addition, she wants to work as a professor in higher
education, teaching pre-service teachers.
The University of Denver graduate student, who hails from
Littleton, is off to a good start, having recently published her
opinion on the pros and cons of general education requirements and
what the current administration should do to answer the country’s
“call for change.”
Her essay “Changing American Education through Equality in Early
Childhood Opportunities,” was selected as one of five winning
essays in the 2009 Scholarship.com Resolve to Evolve
Maxson received $1,000 and her essay will be forwarded to
officials who may be able to act on her suggestions.
College students have been creatively addressing current events
and issues through the Resolve to Evolve Essay Scholarship since
This year, the contest asked applicants to explore the efficacy
of general education requirements or create their own “calls for
change” in response to the current administration’s tasks for the
Ensuring literacy acquisition and school readiness by way of
public early childhood education programs is Maxson’s proposed
solution to a seemingly inadequate education system.
“By providing all students with early childhood experiences,
America will set its children up for success by increasing school
readiness prior to kindergarten entrance, closing the achievement
gap and by helping all students to attain grade-level literacy by
third grade,” Maxson wrote in her essay.
“American schools are not serving students of diverse and
at-risk backgrounds as well as their middle-class, English-speaking
counterparts. Sending all children to preschool would help remedy
Like Maxson’s essay, her dissertation as a PhD candidate at the
University of Denver, studying K-12 Leadership and Policy, will
further explore the effects of early childhood education on the
literacy and language acquisition of English language learners by
And she already has first-hand experience as she teaches
elementary English as a Second Language, and works as a Spanish
translator and interpreter.
“Research not only indicates that students who are not grade
level have lower success rates in school and life, but also
demonstrates that students who speak another language and have
little support at home can take anywhere from four to seven years
to acquire grade-level proficiency in academic English,” Maxson
“It is imperative that the American education system increase
the rapidity of oral language and literacy acquisition for English
language learners so that they encounter grade-level success by
Maxson has earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of
Redlands in Southern California, and a master’s from the University
of Colorado at Denver.
“A college education is infinitely important,” she said. “It
will help me to attain the knowledge necessary to continue to
conduct educational research.”
She continued, “I am grateful that the Resolve to Evolve
committee selected me as a scholarship recipient. The award is
significant not only because it will aid me in paying for school
but also because my essay topic is something I am very passionate
The other winning essays focused on general education
requirements and how they should include life skills to help
students get and keep jobs after graduation; legalizing and taxing
marijuana to pay for two years of free tuition for every
college-bound American; more flexible general education
requirements with a firm foundation that left room for greater
freedom after the first year of school; and energy reform in the
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