Engaging Penn State students with K-12 students allows them to consider the many aspects of inequalities of class, race, gender, and age in the context of education, particularly urban education, and how they can make a difference in a student’s future.
Mentoring English Language Learners
Students in Dr. Donna Chambers’ Spanish classes visited Lauer’s Park
Elementary and Reading Intermediate High School weekly to serve as
tutors/mentors to children recently arrived to the United States from Spanish
speaking countries. The college students helped the children learn English
and assisted them in adjusting to their new school system. In addition,
students from all Spanish classes at Berks participated in two dramatized,
bilingual story-telling events.
Mentoring Middle School Students in PEPP
Students in professor Guadalupe Kasper's Sociology 83S course enhanced their learning of Sociology by mentoring middle school students in Reading. Students studied the key concepts of social structure, including inequalities of class, race, gender, and age in the context of urban education. In the middle school classroom, the students saw the real world application of those concepts. They served as Penn State Educational Partnership Program (PEPP) Learning Assistants to introduce college life and opportunities to the students and show that higher education is an attainable goal. Every Wednesday the students participated in the after-school program where they served as role models, helped with homework/tutored, and participated in fun and educational activities.
Special Topics in Humanity Sexuality Education
Students participated in a supervised and cultural- and age-appropriate sexuality education teaching experience. Emphasis was placed on looking at diverse health-related situations, exploring methods available for education, examining sensitive issues and materials, adapting existing education interventions, and developing strategies from a societal perspective. Students contributed to the Kenya Eco-village Initiative through collaboration with the Children and Youth Empowerment Centre in Nyeri, Kenya.
Salvation Army ESL
Curriculum and Instruction
Students in Professor Andrea Pfaff's CI 280 class collaborated with the Salvation Army's Mañana program. Berks students utilized instructional practices for teaching English to English language learners that were studied in the course. Each Berks student partnered with one Mañana program student, helping them to develop language and literacy proficiency in English by practicing effective instructional strategies for English language learners. Berks students identified the children's proficiencies in language and literacy and developed instructional activities that address the concepts with which the student needed additional support and practice. Berks students evaluated the effectiveness of their instruction by assessing their students' academic progress throughout the semester.
Reading Public Museum
Senior Penn State Berks students who were training to be certified Pennsylvania teachers took the students in the Reading School District on a special field trip to the Reading Public Museum. The purpose of these trips was to participate in a standards-aligned lesson in social studies where children explored the exhibit "Toothpick World" with the specific guidance of PSU Berks student teachers. Penn State Berks students provided service to their assigned schools by bringing children to see an internationally acclaimed traveling exhibit with many learning opportunities. Further, students served their elementary schools by creating resources that will be shared with teachers for future lessons in social students.