Discover Your Island

Dr. Corinne Valadez

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Dr. Corinne Valadez

Reading is the Key

Dr. Corinne Valadez strongly believes that something as simple as a book and quality family time can positively change the life of a child. The Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction is instilling in her students that reading is the key to academic success.

One of the ways Valadez promotes better reading education is through her work on the Family Literacy Project in partnership with H-E-B and the Antonio E. Garcia Arts & Education Center. The project, which works with parents and their children, provides read-aloud strategies to underserved families with young children. Parents are shown that reading and discussing the stories with their child goes beyond what happens in the classroom.

“I want to make story time into a family tradition,” said Valadez. “During this interaction, the children and parents are enjoying quality time together.”

Emphasizing the value of reading aloud, Valadez believes this project will help to nurture a love of reading that could lead to the development of higher-level skills in writing, storytelling, and communicating. This six-week project provides families with two books every session to take home and combine with read-aloud strategies.

Prior to coming to the Island University in 2004, Valadez served as a public school teacher for grades first through fourth. This is where she found her motivation to become a professor.

“What I found is that students, who tend to have low test scores, often have limited opportunities, not limited capabilities,” said Valadez. “We need to make reading meaningful and entertaining so the kids will love it and that is literacy at its finest.” 

Valadez is recognized for her teaching excellence. She was selected as one of the top Hispanic educators in Texas by Online Schools Texas, as a Mentor for the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Academic Honors Program, and she also received a Texas A&M University System Student Recognition Award.

“My students motivate me to be a better teacher,” said Valadez. “The teaching awards are nice and much appreciated, but my true reward is to see my students cross the stage to receive their diplomas.”