Posted on Monday, May 3, 2021
This April junior early childhood/special education majors from Westminster College’s School of Education designed a Title I family engagement experience for local students and families to learn how to connect learning done at both school and home.
Westminster’s preservice teachers developed multi-disciplinary activities and lessons focused on the theme “What’s the Buzz” for this STREAM—science, technology, reading, engineering, arts and mathematics—event, which was launched April 6.
Preservice teachers shared read-alouds and aligned age-appropriate writing activities for Wilmington students in kindergarten through sixth grade in the Wilmington Area School District.
Over the next week, more than 60 families attended an outside, COVID-friendly event at the school featuring learning stations with multidisciplinary tasks such as map reading and outdoor science discoveries which were accessible by QR codes.
Participating families and their children were invited to a final engagement experience on Earth Day on April 22. Families expanded their “What’s the Buzz” insights into an exploration challenge at the Westminster Field Station, Amish nurseries, their backyards and the Apple Castle in New Wilmington.
George Endrizzi, principal of the Wilmington Elementary School, and Title I teachers Jeannie Carr and Addie Hogg, a 2008 graduate of Westminster, were instrumental in facilitating the event.
“In short—wow,” said Endrizzi, a 2004 alumnus of Westminster’s Graduate School. “The activities were fun, interactive and filled with wonderful bugs, songs, exercises and facts.”
“I spent some time today talking to students who participated in the ‘What's the Buzz’ activities and 100% of the students were excited to share all that they learned and loved about the activities they did. They all had smiles on their faces when they spoke about the various stations,” Endrizzi said.
Some of the student feedback included:
“I loved being outside with my family and learning about bugs and things.” ~ Anthony B.
“We got to go outside, get exercise and learn.” ~ Lilly S.
“I liked all of the stations, but I really liked the one where we could draw butterflies on the playground. I didn't know there were so many types of weird bugs.” ~ Florence K.
“I loved learning. I liked when my grandmother had me write a poem about a leaf. I loved 25 facts about bugs.” ~ Zachary T.
“I loved everything. It was fun being with my family. They liked it, too.” ~ Travis
Westminster’s School of Education faculty Dr. Charlene Klassen Endrizzi, Dr. Sararose Lynch, Dr. Rene Pico and Diana Reed collaborated with the preservice teachers and Wilmington teachers.
For more about Westminster's education program, please visit www.westminster.edu/education.