Taking It to the Streets
Published in Inside - Volume XIV, No. 7
Teachers College students put in countless hours of service in
schools and community projects during the academic year, and in April, TC gave them a big thank you at the second annual Student Outreach Showcase. New York City
The event, organized by TC’s Office of School and Community Partnerships, highlighted the scores of students who stepped out of the classroom and into the community through such TC projects as the Student Press Initiative,
and Math Buddies and the Peace Corps Fellows program. Reading
This year’s showcase, which took place on April 23, featured a keynote speech by TC alumna Sabrina Hope King, Chief Academic Officer for the NYC schools’ Office of Curriculum and Professional Development, who lauded the students for their commitment to making a difference in the lives of urban youths and their families.
“Urban students need programs and instructional models that are informed by who they are,” King said. “They need to be beneficiaries of culturally relevant pedagogy. We have to affirm, understand, acknowledge, embrace students’ culture, use that knowledge, use those strengths as a springboard to develop instruction that connects to their current lives and is able to expose them to a full world of possibilities.”
Last year, the Office of School and Community Partnerships collaborated with The Campaign for Educational Equity to organize a combined Student Research and Outreach Recognition Day. That event included a student research conference in which students who had received Equity Research Grants presented findings from their projects.
This year, the outreach and research events were held separately. More than 20 students from across the College displayed their ongoing research projects at Everett Lounge on April 22.
The Student Outreach Showcase, meanwhile, transformed TC’s Grace Dodge Dining Hall with brightly colored posters and detailed table displays of the various community projects that the students took part in during the year.
During her speech, King addressed the achievement gap and said that the goal should not be to get students to a proficient level. Proficiency only requires baseline skills. The challenge of moving beyond proficiency and having urban students achieve excellence, she said, lies in devising rigorous and engaging opportunities earlier in the educational process and fostering a culture of achievement.
“In many communities, it’s not cool to be smart,” King said. “So part of the work that we have engaged in is not only mounting a campaign to boost student achievement, but mounting a campaign to create the culture of school success.”
For more information on outreach programs, visit www.tc.edu/oscp or www.tcequity.org.previous page