This Week's MessageThe Augustana College/Longfellow Elementary School partnership has been a mutually enriching endeavor for several years. Augustana faculty, staff, and students representing numerous departments and organizations have generously shared their time and talents with our neighborhood elementary school. Individual volunteers have provided one-on-one tutoring for the children, academic clubs have organized supplemental educational programming at the school, the children have been welcomed and introduced to Augie facilities (planetarium, geology museum, etc.), and on and on. In giving we have received, and hence the many members of our collegiate community who have connected with Longfellow have also benefited from the experience.
The teacher education program has been particularly involved with Longfellow. Our pre-majors have painted walls and organized recreational activities through Club Ed, and our junior elementary education majors' clinical teaching experience is conducted exclusively within the Longfellow building (each junior spends about 4 hours per week for the entire school year at Longfellow). Faculty are deeply involved at Longfellow as well, both through teaching (courses are held in the elementary building, course assignments often require our students to engage directly with the children, etc.) and research.
This week's Friday Conversation, aka The Longfellow Research Symposium, will highlight some of this research. Pat Shea, Rosita Tendall, Mike Egan, and Deb Bracke will share results and insights from their respective research efforts at Longfellow. A good deal of this collective research was conducted during their recent pre-tenure leaves. Descriptions of each presentation are listed below. Please plan to attend this event, learn about our work at Longfellow, and engage with both the teacher education faculty and invited guests from Longfellow's faculty and staff as we discuss some of the exciting work occurring at our partnering elementary school.
Pat Shea will discuss some of the history behind the Augie/Longfellow partnership, focusing specifically on the processes through which various agents from the northeast Rock Island community (the College, the Keystone Neighborhood Association, etc.) organized to prevent the closing of the local elementary school and worked toward strengthening it.
Rosita Tendall has been pursuing a study at Longfellow with English Language Learners (ELLs) to discover if additional singing and music making have a marked effect on their learning to read. Some students in the K-1 ELL program at Longfellow have been invited to participate in additional music classes and then reading scores will be compared to their control group classmates who have no additional music experiences.
Mike Egan will share insights from the Number Sense Project (NSP), a collaboration with Randy Hengst, kindergarten teachers Berni Carmack and Vicki Peterson, and several Augustana undergraduate partners. This talk will focus on the early childhood numeracy software development aspect of the NSP, a "demand side" approach to educational software production that stands in contrast to the dominant "supply side" model.
Deb Bracke will discuss the Parents Moving Ahead (PMA) community she has developed with Chuck Hyser. Through the PMA, Longfellow parents are provided supports intended to help them develop an increased awareness of their role as informal academic instructors.
Please join us to learn more about what's happening with the Augie/Longfellow partnership, share your own insights if you have been contributing, or learn about new ways that you might connect with us.