Student teachers raising money for Finland trip

A group of Western Carolina University student teachers are raising money to enable them to travel to Finland, which consistently has one of the highest literacy rates in the world, to complete internships and learn more about teaching practices.

“The student teachers are eager to learn how reading and writing are taught in Finnish schools so they can bring back techniques that they learn and implement them in their own classrooms,” said Roya Qualls Scales, assistant professor of literacy education at WCU.

The group, which includes 14 student teachers from elementary education and special education programs, is scheduled to travel to Finland in April and spend time at the Oulu International School as well as schools in the Oulu area.

Upcoming fundraisers include a lasagna dinner at Cullowhee United Methodist Church to be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 12. The dinner is $5 per person, with children age 5 and younger eating free, and includes vegetarian or meat lasagna, garlic bread, dessert, water, tea and lemonade. Cash and checks payable to “Whee Teach” will be accepted.

Then on Wednesday, March 13, Jack the Dipper Ice Cream Parlor in Sylva will donate a portion of its proceeds to the group.

The group also is hosting a drawing on Friday, March 15, for $450 worth of spring shrubbery donated by Scott Gant with Mountain Valley Farms in Waynesville. A suggested donation of $20 to support the students and drawing is suggested, but any donation amount is appreciated and donations are not required. To participate, visit Room 120 of the Killian Building.

For more information, contact Scales at 828-227-2061 or