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Community College Collaboration with Business and Industry in Providing Workplace Literacy Programs: a Modified Case Study of Five Corporate Programs in a Metropolitan Area

Description: The purpose of this study was to provide both businesses and institutions of higher education with a descriptive analysis of the programs of five companies that have utilized community colleges in their basic skills programs. The five companies represented included Texas Instruments Defense Systems Corporation and SGS-Thomson Microelectronics (electronics companies), Abbott Laboratories (a pharmaceutical company), J & E Die Casting (a small die casting firm), and Company X, a semiconductor company that requested anonymity. The community colleges included were Richland College, Brookhaven College, and North Lake College. Modified case studies were used to obtain data collected through individual interviews with representatives from the community colleges and the companies. The syntheses of documentaries provided details of how the five community college-directed workplace literacy programs met, or failed to meet, their literacy challenges. Descriptions of the curriculum and structure of each program were also included. Numerous factors contributed to the success or demise of the programs studied. Elements that served as powerful assets when adequately supported were detrimental when neglected. Factors common to all of the programs were financial support, management philosophical support, confidentiality, adequate testing instruments, class schedule flexibility, instructor capability, physical classroom facilities, and work-related documentation integrated into the curriculum. The findings of this study support previous research concerning successful and detrimental factors found in workplace literacy programs.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Kutilek, Janis G. (Janis Gayle)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Home Literacy Portfolios: Tools for Sharing Literacy Information and for Assessing Parents' Awareness of and Involvement in their Prekindergarten Child's Literacy Development

Description: This qualitative study investigated parents' awareness of and involvement in their prekindergarten child's literacy development. In addition, the feasibility of parents using a home literacy portfolio for the purpose of exchanging literacy information with teachers at a parent/teacher conference was examined. Participants included six parent/child dyads, who qualified for a Texas public school prekindergarten program by meeting the requirements for either free or reduced lunches or for the English-as-a-Second Language program. Research tools included audiotaped interviews with parents and with teachers; observations at parent/child workshop sessions, which were also videotaped; and work samples, including a home literacy portfolio from each child. Findings indicate that parents are involved in their children's literacy development. Also, at home, children participate in both open-ended literacy activities and drill-oriented literacy activities, with most of the activities falling into the open-ended category. According to the findings, all of the parents were more aware of their child's literacy achievements after attending the parent/child workshop and developing a home literacy portfolio. In addition, the home literacy portfolio proved to be a useful tool for sharing information at parent/teacher conferences. Parents and teachers exchanged literacy information at the parent/teacher conference. In the process of explaining the portfolios, the parents shared information about their child's drawing development, writing development, and reading development. In contrast, the teachers shared some literacy information with the parents, but much of the information teachers shared reflected the child's participation in class or general information about the child. The findings suggest that the parent/child workshop is a cost-effective vehicle for directly involving parents in their child's education. Moreover, developing a home literacy portfolio provides a means of involving parents with their child and of helping parents' become more aware of their child's literacy development.
Date: December 1996
Creator: Williams, Patricia H. (Patricia Howard)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Orality, Literacy, and Character in Bleak House

Description: This work argues that the dynamics of the oral and of the literate consciousness play a vital role in the characterization of Bleak House. Through an application of Walter Ong's synthesis of orality/literacy research, Krook's residual orality is seen to play a greater role in his characterization than his more frequently discussed spontaneous combustion. Also, the role orality and literacy plays in understanding Dickens's satire of "philanthropic shams" is analyzed. This study concludes that an awareness of orality and literacy gives the reader of Bleak House a consistent framework for evaluating the moral quality of its characters and for understanding the broader social message underlying Dickens's topical satire.
Date: May 1988
Creator: Nelms, Jeffrey Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Early Literacy Development of Young Mildly Handicapped Children

Description: The purpose of this study was to describe the extent and quality of prior knowledge, transactional nature, and social context of literacy knowledge demonstrated by young mildly handicapped learners. The study was based on current theories of literacy which view literacy growth as part of the total language system development, and ethnographic methods were used to gather and analyze qualitative data. Language and literacy events were observed in three special education classrooms including 43 students ranging in age from 4 years 1 month to 9 years 11 months. Major findings of the study included: (a) The children in this study demonstrated prior literacy knowledge much like that of non-handicapped peers, (b) Demonstrations of oral and written language system transactions decreased after students received formal instruction in reading and writing. And (c) children's ability to interpret print depended greatly on the presence or absence of context with the print.
Date: August 1986
Creator: Austin, Jerry Patricia Gentry
Partner: UNT Libraries

The White House Symposium on Advancing Global Literacy

Description: This Website documented the White House Symposium on Advancing Global Literacy that held in New York City, New York, on September 22, 2008. The site also included the contents of the six UNESCO Regional Conferences in Support of Global Literacy: -Literacy Challenges in the Arab Region (Doha, Qatar – March 12 – 14, 2007) -Literacy Challenges in East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific (Beijing, China – July 31 - August 1, 2007) -Renewing Literacy to Face African and International Challenges (Bamako, Mali – September 10 - 12, 2007) -Literacy Challenges in the South, Southwest and Central Asia (New Delhi, India – November 29 – 30, 2007) -Addressing Literacy Challenges in Europe with a Sub-Regional Focus (Baku, Azerbaijan – May 14 – 16, 2008) -Regional Literacy Conference in Latin America and the Caribbean (Mexico City, Mexico – September 10 – 13, 2008)
Date: 2008
Creator: United States. White House Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Nature of the Impact of a Reading Tutoring Program on Participating Students in the Classroom: A Qualitative Study

Description: The purpose of this qualitative multi-case study was to explore the nature of the impact that a tutoring program, which featured preservice teachers as tutors, had on participating fifth grade at-risk students’ literacy behaviors in the classroom.The researcher served in the role of passive participant observer during the scheduled language arts period three days per week in the participating students’ classroom for a period of twenty-three weeks. Field notes were made in the classroom and coded, and audio tapes were recorded and transcribed of the tutoring sessions. Formal and informal interviews with the teacher, tutors, and participating students were conducted, transcribed, and coded. Lesson plans and reflections developed and written by the tutors were gathered and coded. Observations indicated that there were four types of reading required on a daily basis in the classroom. Assigned readings made by the teacher included narrative and expository texts. Pleasure readings were materials chosen by the students, but at certain times were teacher initiated and at other times, student initiated. The four types of reading found in the classroom were mirrored by the tutoring sessions. Students observed in the classroom could be divided into two types and four categories. Those with positive attitudes were called eager readers. Eager readers were made up of good readers and struggling readers, who lacked some of the reading skills possessed by good readers. Reluctant readers were the second type and had either ambiguous or explicitly negative attitudes toward reading. The type of reader, together with the type of reading required, determined the success of the tutoring sessions. The results of the data analysis show that student motivation toward reading was a key factor in determining the success of the tutoring program. Two of the three student participants in the study reported learning skills in the tutoring program that ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Arrowood, Dana R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

"I Like the Name but Not the Soup!": An Ethnographic Study of the Metalinguistic Sentience of Young Gifted Children, Its Reflection of Their Cognitive Ability and its Relationship to Their Literacy Acquisition and Literacy Learning

Description: Metalinguistic sentience refers to the conscious or unconscious apprehension of, sensitivity to, and attention to language as something with form and function that can be manipulated. This includes, but is not restricted to, conscious or unconscious apprehension of, sensitivity to, and attention to the following aspects of language and literacy: pragmatics, syntactics, semantics, phonology, orthography, morphology, figurative, metalanguage, print "carries" meaning, print conventions, book conventions, text conventions, referent/label arbitrariness, purposes of literacy, and abilities. These aspects of language and literacy are part of a morphological model developed by the author for classifying the evidence provided by children of their metalinguistic sentience. The two other faces of the model, displayed as a cube, depict (1) Literacy Acguisition and Literacy Learning and (2) four Prompt States: Self-, Child-, Adult-, Text. This ethnographic study of nine verbally gifted kindergarten and first grade children was conducted with a three-fold purpose: to explore whether young verbally gifted children's metalinguistic sentience coincided with their cognitive ability, to explore whether young verbally gifted children's metalinguistic sentience influenced their literacy acquisition and literacy learning, and to explore whether young verbally gifted children's literacy acquisition and literacy learning enhanced their metalinguistic sentience. The study took place during a full school year, while the author was a participant observer in the informants' classrooms. The evidence from the research indicated that the nine verbally gifted children who served as the informants for the study had a lower threshold for metalinguistic sentience than did their agemates. This lower threshold allowed them to acquire and learn literacy more easily and more efficiently.
Date: August 1988
Creator: McIntosh, Margaret E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Home Literacy Environment and Experiences: A Description of Asian American Homes and Recommended Intervention

Description: The purpose of this study was to describe the home literacy environments and literacy experiences of a select group of Asian American children, and to recommend an intervention program based on the findings. The target population was the families which sent their children to a Saturday Asian language and culture school while sending them to public schools during the week, because of their expressed interest in literacy and the probability of their being the group to most likely benefit from intervention. The Home Literacy Environment and Literacy Experiences survey was initially sent out and results tallied and quantified. Upon placing the returned surveys into groups of "high," "middle," and "low" home literacy environment and literacy experiences, a sample of five "high" and five "low" families was selected for further study. Home visits, interviews, field notes, collection of artifacts and other methods of data collection provided a clearer picture of the state of the home literacy environment and literacy experiences of the families studied. Families rated as having "high" home literacy environment and experiences were found to have a larger number of literacy-related materials and higher frequency of literacy-related activities. Bilingualism and education were perceived as being important. The families also exhibited a strong interest in music and music lessons. Parents expressed a desire for two two-hour training sessions which would be held at the Saturday school location while their child attended classes there. It would be ideally held in the native language of the parents by a speaker from the native country. The parents preferred workshops with actual practice and examples which could be seen, accompanied by reading materials. Topics in which parents expressed interest include, in descending order: (a) 'selection of books for and with their child, (b) how to encourage their child to read, (c) how to discuss ...
Date: August 1988
Creator: Lewis, Junko Yokota
Partner: UNT Libraries

Operationalizing a Reading Culture at Rio Hondo Junior High

Description: A rural Rio Grande Valley school has continuously performed below the state average on the reading portion of the State Assessment of Academic Readiness. One of the concerns expressed amongst teachers and staff is the student’s lack of desire to read for pleasure or for academic purposes. This study examines the attitudes of students and staff in towards reading by focusing on the school’s reading culture. A mixed methods approach consisting of interviews, participant observation, a focus group, and a survey was employed in this study. The study found that the teachers and students maintained two polarizing perceptions of their reading culture. Based on these findings the following recommendations were made: create a literature-centered curriculum, increase and vary the selection of school library books, and align teachers’ perception with the students’ perception to create a unified reading culture.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Manning, Victoria Nicole
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Description of Progress in Expressive Language and Literacy of Four Young Children Learning English as a Second Language

Description: Four young children who were learning English as a second language were observed during their participation in an English Language Development class in a school in the North Texas area. Demographic data and checklists were used to describe progress in expressive language and the key vocabulary approach to beginning literacy as adapted by Trietsch and Monk. Data from the interviews with the classroom teachers of the subjects and anecdotal records were used to describe the interaction of the subjects with other English-speaking children and adults. Comparisons were made between progress in writing the key vocabulary and progress in expressive language and between progress in writing the key vocabulary and the progress of interaction with other English-speaking children and adults. The subjects progressed in literacy in English as a second language while learning English as a second language.
Date: December 1981
Creator: Tucker, Barbara Jane
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Cherokee Language and Culture: Can Either Survive?

Description: One of the three-fold purposes of this study is to indicate the relationship between the cultural advancements of the Cherokees and the development and implementation of a written, printable language into their culture. In fulfilling a second purposes, the study emphasizes the influence of literacy on the social values of the Cherokees. The third purpose is to consider the idea of the Cherokees themselves that bi-lingual education, first in Cherokee, then in English, and a renewed national pride and productivity in literacy could go far in solving the problems of social alienation and educational negativism that exist among un-assimilated Cherokees.
Date: August 1972
Creator: Lyde, Judith Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Teachers' and Students' Perceptions of the Impact of Content Literacy Strategy Instruction on Teaching and Learning

Description: Reading researchers agree that content literacy strategies are beneficial in helping students learn. However, teachers remain resistant to teaching the strategies. Additionally, many students, even at the college level, lack the learning strategies necessary to experience academic success. This study sought to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of content literacy strategy instruction. The research questions that guided the study addressed the benefits, obstacles, and support and experiences needed to sustain the use of the strategies over time. Multiple data sources were used to investigate teachers' and students' perceptions of the research questions. The main benefit found was increased student understanding and learning of content; additional benefits included increased instructional repertoire, increased student engagement in class, and improved learner independence. Most of the obstacles documented in the literature were supported in the study; however, the obstacle of time was noted most frequently. Teacher confidence was observed by the researcher as an obstacle. The majority of participants indicated they would continue using the strategies learned during the study in the future. Students noted the support needed to sustain content literacy strategy use depended on teachers providing direct instruction, practice using the strategies, and personal success with the strategies. Teachers also identified practice and perseverance as critical to sustaining content literacy strategy instruction. The support teachers noted most frequently as important to successful implementation was collegial support - teachers helping teachers. Teacher meetings discussing the implementation process were viewed as critical to sustain effective content literacy strategy instruction. Additionally, quality teacher training, administrative support, and accountability were documented by teachers as important.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Maher, Sheila
Partner: UNT Libraries

English language learners: Does summer school make a difference in young children's literacy scores?

Description: Many school districts consider literacy and oral language as a top priority for pre-kindergarten students. In the district under study, pre-kindergarten English language learner (ELL) students are encouraged to attend a special summer school program to increase their oral language ability in English. This study compared three groups of children: ELL students attending summer school v. ELL students not attending summer school v. English speaking students not attending summer school. The students' primary reading inventory scores from the end of pre-kindergarten to the middle of kindergarten in the areas of reading, writing and oral language were compared. As expected, ELLs who attended summer school showed significant growth in oral language development from the beginning of summer school to the end of summer school. While it was hypothesized that ELL students attending summer school would show more improvement in oral language than other children over time, there was no significant difference between summer school and non-summer school children's scores by the middle of kindergarten.
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Date: August 2006
Creator: Wickert, DeAnna S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Critical Literacy Practices, Social Action Projects, and the Reader Who Struggles in School

Description: This study, conducted at an urban public school, explored the engagements of five, fourth grade, African American students who struggled with reading in school as they participated in critical literacy practices and social action projects with the assumption that critical analysis of written texts and concrete social actions were necessary for student empowerment. Using Discourse Analysis within a microethnographic framework, participants’ responses were analyzed. Early in the study, participants were hesitant to join in critical conversations about race. Over time, as participants deepened their critical literacy engagements, they divulged lived racism both in their private and public worlds. Specifically, the participants described the tensions and transgressions they experienced as minorities from civil rights curriculum, teachers and other students. The findings revealed instead of text based analyses, critical literacy practices transformed into the participants’ critical analysis of racism they experienced in their various worlds (home, school, and the larger, outside world) through language (not text). Similarly, the pre-conceived idea of social action projects changed from the creation of concrete products or actions into discussions in which mainstream discourse was interrupted. Tacit and overt understandings about race, identity and power suggested that the participants assumed multiple and contradictory identities (such as “victim of racism” and “racially prejudiced”) that both empowered and oppressed others in the social action group. Implications for critical literacy practices include that empowering and liberating pedagogy through ‘risky conversations’ is difficult, transitory and radical within the context of school.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Bauer, Courtney Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

From inside the Arab family: What literacy practices occur when raising bilingual and biliterate children?

Description: Living in the United States creates unique challenges in biliteracy and bilingualism for the Arab family. While extant literature provides insight into the literacy interactions and experiences of families from many other cultures now living in the U.S. , there is next to nothing regarding the Arab family literacy experience. Thus, knowledge about the literacy activities Arab families engage in as they gain access to and knowledge of a new culture and language is important. The purpose of this study was to investigate and describe the literacy practices of the Arab families raising bilingual and biliterate children in the U.S. This study , using methodology based on ethnographic approaches, investigated the literacy events, behaviors and interactions which occurred within one Arab family over a 16-week period. A second group of participants were 5 other Arab families living in the U.S. Data sources included video and audio recordings, field notes, observations, journals, informal interviews, and artifacts of children's literacy. The researcher and the participants engaged as co-participants in the research. Findings showed that driving factors behind home literacy practices were religious beliefs and the imminence of return to the home country. Arab mothers were found to yield a heavy influence on the pursuit of literacy, as well as the consistency of literacy learning events in the home. Findings should contribute to helping parents of children with different cultural backgrounds and languages provide the most effective types of support in the home instruction to develop fluency in both the new and the primary language. Information gathered would also help teachers bring together these children with their peers and the subject matter to create a positive synergy wherein all learners can be successful.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Alshaboul, Yousef Mohammad
Partner: UNT Libraries

Fair balance? An analysis of the functional equivalence of risk and benefit information in prescription drug direct-to-consumer television advertising.

Description: Prescription drug direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) has been a subject of controversy in recent years. Though government regulations require equivalent prominence of risks and benefits, there is concern about the ability of consumers with limited health literacy to fully comprehend the risks and benefits associated with drug use. Evaluating the images in DTCA is important because individuals may rely on the visual message if the wording is overly complex. Using semiotics, this study aims to evaluate whether there is functional equivalence in the presentation of risk and benefit information in prescription drug direct-to-consumer television advertising. A new analytical method is created and used to assess the consistency between the messages contained in the voice track, the primary visual images, and the superscript/ subscript text. The results indicate that risk and benefit messages in this DTCA sample lack functional equivalence. However, it is important to properly frame these findings as the study does not evaluate viewer comprehension of the various message structures.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Baird-Harris, Kay
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Historical Study of the Impact of the Christian Development on the Contributions of Frank C. Laubach in Literacy Education

Description: Frank C. Laubach made substantial contributions both to literacy education and the Christian life. There were between sixty and one hundred million people who learned to read through his literacy campaigns. He traveled to 130 countries developing literacy primers in 312 languages. At the same time, Laubach was a missionary mystic, spiritual experimenter and leader among Protestant Christians. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between two important parts of Laubach's life: his Christian development and literacy education. The study presents an overview of the family and social background of Frank C. Laubach from a chronological framework. Additional chapters examine: the importance of i-he Christian disciplines in Laubach's life, the impact of the missionary call and Laubach's concern for Christian social responsibility. The final chapter summarizes and evaluates the research. Both the Laubach collection, found in the George Arents Research Library at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, and the library at Laubach Literacy International in Syracuse, provided the resources for comprehensive research in the life of Frank C. Laubach.
Date: December 1989
Creator: Lawson, J. Gregory (James Gregory)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Computer-Assisted Instruction in Literacy Skills for Kindergarten Students and Perceptions of Administrators and Teachers.

Description: The perceptions of administrators and teachers of a computer-assisted instructional program in literacy skills were collected by a survey. The survey participants were kindergarten teachers and administrators from four elementary schools in the same, fast-growing, suburban school district in Texas. Literacy assessments were given to all kindergarten students in the district in the fall, winter, and spring of the 2005-2006 school year. This study included a quasi-experimental research design to determine if students using the computer-assisted instructional program improved more on the district literacy assessments than students who did not use the program. The treatment group members were the 449 kindergarten students of the survey participants. The treatment group worked in The Imagination Station program for a nine-week trial period. The control group members were 1385 kindergarten students from thirteen other schools in the same school district. The study found that teachers and administrators perceived that their students' improvement in literacy skills after using the program was good. The quasi-experimental portion of the study found that there was a statistical difference between the treatment and control groups on the composite literacy assessment score. The group membership variable could explain 1.4% of the variance in the students' literacy assessment scores. Based on the small effect size, there was no practical difference between the groups.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Larson, Susan Hatlestad
Partner: UNT Libraries

Funds of Knowledge in a Hispanic Household: a Case Study of Family Experiences, Values, and Connections to Education

Description: Traditionally, the field of education has often adopted a negative perspective in their views of minority families’ contributions to the educational progress of their children. However, research embodying the theoretical framework of ‘funds of knowledge’ attempts to counter that model through its assertion that all families possess extensive bodies of knowledge that have developed through social, historical, and cultural contexts. Teachers carry out studies of familial funds of knowledge in order to understand how family experiences shape the knowledge that a child brings to the classroom. There is then, the potential to use that body of knowledge to create meaningful learning experiences that connect prior understanding and experiences to classroom practice. This research served as a case study of the funds of knowledge existing in the home of a Hispanic family and the connections that existed between that knowledge and literacy. The results indicated that the family possessed extensive funds of knowledge that developed through their historical, cultural, and social experiences. They often used family networks, as well as formal and informal literacy experiences to share this knowledge with their children. A key component of the literacy value system that they communicated resulted from a desire to maintain aspects of their culture and heritage through maintaining and improving their children’s reading and linguistic abilities in Spanish. Furthermore, along with their emphasis on Spanish literacy, they held aspirations for their children related to familial and educational values that often stemmed from their expressed desire for their children to lead lives with greater opportunities and positive examples than they had experienced.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Feild, Kelly A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Developing Culturally Responsive Literacy Teachers: Analysis of Academic, Demographic, and Experiential Factors Related to Teacher Self-efficacy

Description: This mixed-methods study examined teachers' culturally responsive teaching (CRT) self-efficacy beliefs and the relationships among selected academic, demographic, and experiential factors. Guided by theoretical and empirical research on CRT, teacher dispositions, and assessment in teacher education (TE) programs for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students, this study utilized an extended version of Siwatu's 2007 Culturally Responsive Teaching Self-Efficacy (CRTSE) Scale to conduct correlational and comparative statistical analyses. Data sources included surveys from 265 participants enrolled in TE classes in the spring 2012 in Texas (one private and one public university). Content analyses were also conducted on participants' descriptions of CRT activities using a priori and inductive coding methods to triangulate and elaborate the explanation of quantitative results. In this population, those with higher CRTSE were typically young (undergraduates), specializing in ESL and bilingual certification coursework, who felt their TE program prepared them well for working with CLD student populations. Regression analyses showed that certain certification areas (ESL, bilingual, elementary, and advanced) and perceptions of better quality in TE program preparation for working with CLD students emerged as significant predictors of increased CRTSE. Those with second language skills were more efficacious in delivering linguistically-responsive instruction, and those professing more experiences with and interest in diverse individuals felt more confident in applying CRT skills. While the younger teacher candidates felt more efficacious, their descriptions of CRT were less sophisticated than those with more teaching experience. Despite much of the literature relating to CRT and minority teachers, ethnicity was not a significant factor in heightened CRTSE. This study informs TE programs for better measuring and supporting teacher candidate CRT development by revising and extending Siwatu's 2007 study in three ways. First, the CRTSE Scale instrument was extended to include items that address greater depth and breadth of the culturally responsive teaching continuum as ...
Date: December 2012
Creator: Sarker, Amie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Multimodal Literacy Portfolios: Expressive and Receptive Opportunities for Children Labeled "At-Risk"

Description: Current literacy assessments are focused on a single mode of meaning-making (reading and writing, whether oral or written) and assume that literacy and language are "fixed systems"-- comprised of discrete skills that can be taught and measured in isolation. This validation and privileging of a single mode of assessment has resulted in children labeled "At-risk" falling significantly behind those without this label. This study investigates what a teacher can learn from a diverse range of assessment forms and modes. In a fourth-grade self-contained classroom, students engaged in multimodal assessments and created multimodal portfolios. Five students labeled "At-risk" were chosen for a deeper analysis. Students' artifacts, interviews, and observations served as the main data sources. Both narrative analysis and analysis of narrative were utilized to generate a more complete narrative of these five students as meaning makers and communicators. The general findings suggest that these children labeled "At-risk" were, in fact, able to engage in multimodal thinking and communication from a critical stance.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Young, Whitney J
Partner: UNT Libraries