Literacy Event to Feature Special Guest Miss Kansas

By FHSU University Communications


Hays, KS- The FHSU Language and Literacy Institute, in partnership with Hays Masonic Lodge 195, will host a family literacy night from 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15. Special guest Miss Kansas, Ayanna Hensley, will share with participants the story of how her second-grade teacher saved her from a life of poverty, violence, and drug addiction by creating an after-school book club just for her. Hensley is an FHSU alum and Rudd Scholar.


Families are welcome to attend this event to listen to Miss Kansas, play games, and possibly win prizes. The Hays Masonic Lodge 195 will serve hotdogs, chips, and drinks beginning at 5:30 p.m.


The event will mark the grand opening of the FHSU Language and Literacy Institute at its new location, The United Methodist Campus Ministries, 507 Elm.

The language and literacy institute offers free in-person and online reading tutoring provided by preservice teacher education students as part of their required practicum experience. In addition, it provides resources to families at family literacy nights to enable them to support literacy in the home.


FHSU Language and Literacy Institute volunteers will begin tutoring struggling readers at Topeka Correctional Facility this fall. Additionally, volunteers at the institute will begin offering English lessons to English language learners in the community and Ukrainian refugees in eastern Kansas this fall. 


Enrollment is underway for free reading tutoring sessions which begin Sept. 20. Individuals interested in the sessions can email Dr. Sarah Miller at to learn more and to sign up. 


“Many of our nation’s social problems such as poverty take root in an individual’s inability to read proficiently,” Miller said. “Every semester, I tell preservice teachers they are learning to be superheroes. They can literally change the trajectory of a child’s life by teaching them to read. Giving someone the power to read is incredible.”

Sign up for the KCLY Digital Newspaper, The Regional