Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education



First Advisor

Crowell, Samuel

Second Advisor

Kowalski, Kurt


This Masters project consists of two elements: 1) an integrated after-school program to improve student English language reading and academic outcomes for third graders' vocabulary development by incorporating music, artistic creativity and linguistics; 2) a pilot sample curriculum that demonstrates the approach for building student comprehension through musical theater and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) content experiences. Called "Water Buddy", this is an after-school program uses singing, dancing, writing, and play to build reading and vocabulary skills. The goal is to improve learner academic outcomes by mastering the elemental building blocks of words, letters, symbols by making memorable the sound units, idioms, print conventions, and concepts that they were previously lacking.