Preparing the Next Generation of Literacy Specialists
Published in TC Today - Volume 37, No. 1
Literacy is the freedom to expand one’s thought, one’s mind, one’s confidence,” says Evalyn Edwards Milman (M.A. ’64), who has given Teachers College $1 million to establish the Evalyn Edwards Milman Literacy Fellowship. “I would like to see the College boost literacy and involve children who are in need, and produce scholars and teachers who will excel.”
The Milman Fellowship will support two or more outstanding TC students to further their literacy-related research and practice in TC Partnership Schools in Harlem. The Milman Fellows will be directed by Nancy Streim, Associate Vice President for School and Community Partnerships, and mentored by TC faculty. The Fellows will play a big role in improving the educational and developmental outcomes of children in West Harlem.
“Through Evalyn’s generosity, we can transform learning for teachers and students,” says Kecia Hayes, Director of the TC Partnership Schools Consortium. “Her wonderful gift provides teachers with a unique opportunity to study effective instructional practices in a professional learning community and transfer learning into practice.”
Evalyn studied child development as an undergraduate at Cornell. Her gift marks her graduation from TC’s master’s degree program in Curriculum and Teaching nearly 50 years ago. She taught in the early-childhood grades before earning another master’s degree in art history at Hunter College. She has since worked as a curator and television producer and owned a cultural tour company.
Daniel Ferguson, a C&T student and the first Evalyn Edwards Milman Fellow, will be in the new cohort of literacy specialists. Daniel, who has taught in New York, Alabama and Japan, calls teaching literacy “life-changing” and “by far the most philosophically stimulating experience I’ve had.” Evalyn anticipates “celebrating the award and seeing Daniel in action.
“I am so pleased that the Milman Fellows will get to the heart of what teaching means,” she says. “I love the fact that the program enables TC students to teach and learn on a one-on-one basis. TC is in a position to lead other schools and universities, not just in the United States, but around the world.”