Tuesday, November 19, 2013
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Nineteen Westminster College early childhood/special education majors participated in a Math/Literacy Night at Campbell Elementary School in Ohio in October.
The Westminster students shared children's books, math activities and iPad applications that families could explore further at home. They also presented learning stations focused on math, reading and technology to more than 300 parents, grandparents and other family members of students in kindergarten through fourth grade.
"Our pre-service teachers need to begin essential conversations with each child's first learning partners in order to understand the power of families," said Dr. Charlene Klassen Endrizzi, professor of education. "As our students encountered an array of families, including some who spoke only Spanish, they began to understand the need to expand avenues for connecting learning across home and school environments."
"Finding ways to connect reading and math to each child's home environment can lead to much greater success in learning as students continue to grow," said Hannah Shaffer. Shaffer, a senior, is a daughter of Mark Shaffer and Susan Shaffer, Vandergrift, and a graduate of Apollo-Ridge High School.
"Every family has a different story and it is our job as teachers to learn that story so we can best teach their child," said Olivia Hvizdos. "It is crucial that we as teachers take time to value and learn important information from families." Hvizdos, a junior, is a daughter of Rian and Nancy Hvizdos of Fairview Park, Ohio, and a graduate of Fairview High School.
Emily Scharf said, "By coming to our family night parents and grandparents showed that they wanted to further their child's education at home because they understood that learning does not just happen at school." Scharf, a senior, is a daughter of Joseph and Cynthia Lay Scharf of Pittsburgh and a graduate of Mount Lebanon High School.
The program was collaboratively created by Endrizzi and Dr. Sararose Lynch, assistant professor of education. The Westminster students are from Endrizzi and Lynch's elementary education block methods education courses Literacy in the Primary Classroom and Mathematics for Primary Grades.
Key collaborators at Campbell Elementary include Principal Dr. Bob Walls, Darlene Spurio, Ryan Stowell, Vicki Tekac, Annette Tovarnak, and Justine Truslow.
Funding for children's books and door prizes came from Westminster College's Drinko Center for Experiential Learning, the Marion G. Resch Foundation, and Campbell Elementary.
Contact Klassen Endrizzi at 724-946-7189 or email for more information.
About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 378 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.
Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.