Brought To You By NSU; Written by Leah Jackson
A literacy grant from International Paper Foundation will enable Northwestern State University’s Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development to create a Center for Excellence in Teaching to serve aspiring teachers through mentoring, service projects and well-being awareness.
The IP Foundation presented the $5,000 grant to administrators in the School of Education where components are already in place to improve teacher preparation. Creating a Center for Excellence will enhance and centralize those initiatives, according to Dr. Neeru Deep, interim dean of the College.
Deep plans to create and deliver well-being workshops to current and future students while Dr. Katrina Jordan, director of the School of Education, will guide mentorship and implement literacy changes in the curriculum and Dr. Michelle Brunson, professor, will continue to coordinate the Cradle to College Pipeline service-learning project, a literacy and intervention initiative aimed at redirecting at-risk children who are statistically more likely to be incarcerated later in life.
“The Center for Excellence in Teaching will be a one-stop-shop to meet the needs of initial certification students in the School of Education,” Jordan said.
The School will partner with NSU’s Academic Success Center and the Center’s director, Dr. Bob Jordan, who will provide tutors, mentors and coaches for students.
“The help the students will receive can be anything from time management skills to Praxis test assistance, including the new literacy tests, to intervention plans and beyond,” Jordan said. “The Center for Excellence in Teaching will create helpful videos and materials that will be linked through the School of Education website. We are also partnering with Dr. Brunson’s service-learning project to take literacy learning a step farther. Our partnership with the Center for Positivity and Dr. Deep will ensure that the students are receiving not only academic help but also assistance in managing their well-being.”
The Cradle to College service-learning initiative seeks to provide youngsters and their families with literacy activities, resources and support so they can engage in reading and play activities at home. The project has been an important component of the student experience for several years.
“We are happy to help develop a multi-dimensional program that will equip future educators with the skills to effectively and equitably deliver literacy instruction and intervention support to the students they serve,” said Dr. Alissa Campbell Shaw, executive director of the IP Foundation.
We are so very thankful to the International Paper Foundation for supporting this initiative,” Deep said.
Information on NSU’s School of Education is available at https://www.nsula.edu/education/.