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Office of School and Community Partnerships
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University

The Arthur Zankel Urban Fellowship


The internship sites listed below are recruiting Zankel Fellows for the 2015-2016 academic year. Most sites are only recruiting one or two fellows, though some will be recruiting up to five or six. In a typical year, up to half of the internships are awarded to returning fellows. Unless otherwise noted below, newly selected fellows are likely to receive the award for two consecutive years.

In your application for the fellowship, you will be given the option of ranking your top three site preferences. You will also have the opportunity to briefly explain how you meet the criteria listed for your top preference(s). Given the large number of applications for a very limited number of places, it is essential that you review the internship criteria listed below each site description and address them in your application.

You may be selected by more than one sponsor, so your ranking may also help us decide which of the options open to you will best suit your interests.

Teachers College Community School
Sponsor: Audrey Cox
Department: Office of School and Community Partnerships

Teachers College Community School (TCCS) is an inclusive, non-screened choice elementary school that opened in September 2011. Opened by the New York City Department of Education in collaboration with Teachers College, the school is intended to demonstrate how affiliation with a higher education institution can lead to effective implementation of comprehensive educational services in an urban, community public school.

To effectively educate students who have a range of learning needs and language backgrounds, TCCS uses a model of inclusion that provides all students with a home base in a regular classroom, coupled with flexible services across a continuum of needs. The TCCS Zankel Fellows will plan and deliver instructional support to students in the PreK through 4th grade classrooms and in the after school programs. Fellows will be selected and assigned according to the school's highest priority needs, which may be classroom management, assessment, subject specific support etc. Fellows will benefit from their exposure to how educational activities are planned and delivered within a community school model as well as the instructional rigors of TCCS, which embraces high expectations for its diverse community of learners.

Internship criteria: Interns must have at least six months' classroom experience at the elementary level working with children from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds. Strong knowledge of early literacy is preferred. Knowledge of the NYC public school system preferred.

Internship site(s): Teachers College Community School, 168 Morningside Avenue, New York, NY 10027;

Estimated time commitment per week: Seven to nine hours working directly with children in the classroom and one-three hours of planning and preparation. Includes in-school (8am-3pm) and after-school (3pm-6pm) activities

Weekly schedule: TBD


Movement and Physical Activity for Preschoolers
Sponsor: Dr. Carol Ewing Garber
Department: Department of Biobehavioral Sciences, Program in Movement Sciences and Education

This fellowship involves developing and implementing a program of movement and physical activities that is being integrated into the structure of the Columbia University Head Start and Early Head Start Program. Fellows will work in pairs in collaboration with TC faculty, CUHS parents, staff and CU affiliated faculty. Fellows help develop and refine a year-round curriculum for toddlers and preschoolers that includes an innovative creative movement program designed to promote physical activity, prevent obesity, and to foster motor development, which is often delayed in young children from low-resourced families, affecting readiness to learn. The target population is young disadvantaged children and their adult caregivers attending the Columbia Early Head Start and Head Start.

Our primary goal is to improve physical activity and health in children and caregivers and to foster institutionalization of physical activity into the preschool program setting.  Physical inactivity and "screen time" are consistently associated with childhood obesity and contribute to developmental delays. Early home influences are central to the establishment of healthy behaviors. We will target home and cultural influences in promoting physically active lifestyle in young children and their caregivers. Approximately 30% of the preschool children currently attending the program are overweight or obese. Concurrently with program development and implementation, we are collecting process and behavioral outcomes to evaluate the program’s effectiveness using the RE-AIM framework. Fellows selected for this project may receive the award for one year only.

Internship criteria: Ability to develop and lead movement and physical activities for preschool children and their families. Ability to work with young children, including children with disabilities. Understanding of motor and cognitive development of pre-school children. Good communication and team work skills. Fluency in Spanish highly desirable. Interest in collecting outcomes data and being involved in presentation and publication of results desirable.

Internship site(s): Columbia University Head Start Program, 4467 Broadway, New York, NY 10040

Estimated time commitment per week: 5-7 hours of direct service and 5-7 hours of planning and preparation

Weekly schedule: TBD


Raising Educational Achievement Coalition of Harlem
Sponsor: Angela Fulcher
Department: Office of School and Community Partnerships

Through the Raising Educational Achievement Coalition of Harlem (REACH), Teachers College convenes a group of local public schools across the PK through 12 grade span to work collaboratively to improve students' academic achievement. REACH implements a set of coherent and strategic actions that increases access to comprehensive educational opportunity. The main areas of focus are school leadership, pedagogical practices, expanded learning experiences, early childhood education, physical and mental health, and family engagement.

Zankel Fellows will provide students in seven partner public schools with high-quality expanded learning opportunities that expose them to new ideas as well as support the development of their academic skills and content knowledge. Fellows work directly with students and engage them in hands-on, inquiry-based projects that are aligned to the Common Core State Standards. They also attend professional development sessions designed to support their work around the development, implementation, monitoring, and refinement of activity plans for their work in schools. Fellows benefit from the opportunity to share their skills and knowledge with youth from high need public schools in Harlem.

Internship criteria: Interns must have at least six months' previous experience working with urban youth and families in traditional public schools in under-served communities and/or experience working with community-based organizations serving youth & families at-risk. Strong organization, lesson planning, writing, and facilitation skills required. Interest in youth development, storytelling/narrative writing, health, STEM or critical service learning preferred.

Internship site(s): PS 36, PS 154, Columbia Secondary School, Frederick Douglass Academy II, Heritage High School, two other sites pending

Estimated time commitment per week: Five hours working directly with inner city youth and five hours dedicated to planning, preparation and professional development.

Weekly schedule: TBD


Literacy and Inquiry Internships
Sponsors: Dr. Marjorie Siegel, Dr. Lucy Calkins, Dr. Maria Paula Ghiso
Department: Curriculum and Teaching

Literacy learning is a complex undertaking that involves providing students with opportunities to read and write for real-world purposes, engage in textual analysis and language study, see themselves represented in the curriculum, and use literacy as a platform for inquiry. Fellows will work with students in TC partner schools to support these multiple facets of literacy inquiry. Fellows will collaborate with classroom teachers and C&T literacy faculty to learn from students about their literacies and build on this knowledge through facilitation of individualized, small group and whole class instruction. Fellows will also have the opportunity to work closely with one of the faculty sponsors on related literacy inquiries. Fellows selected for this project may receive the award for one year only.

Internship criteria: Previous experience facilitating literacy instruction at the elementary level. Candidates must be enrolled in the Literacy Specialist Program or a doctoral program in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching.

Internship site(s): Teachers College Community School

Estimated time commitment per week: Literacy block four times per week, plus additional time for planning

Weekly schedule: To be determined in consultation with the school depending on their literacy instruction schedule


Speaking to the World: Performance and Publication Programs for Students
Sponsor: Center for the Professional Education of Teachers, Roberta Lenger-Kang, CPET Director of Student Press Initiative and Secondary Literacy Institute and Ruth Vinz, CPET Director and Morse Professor in Teacher Education
Department: Arts & Humanities

For over a decade, The Center for the Professional Education of Teachers (CPET) has been inspiring students and their teachers to take their learning beyond the classroom and into the world. Through performance and publication projects, CPET initiatives such as Performance at the Center, and the Student Press Initiative partner with schools across New York City to co-create opportunities for students to share their learning with multiple audiences and, at the same time, develop their reading, writing, performance, and communication skills. As students share what they learn with others through multiple venues of publication, we hope to foster students’ curiosity of spirit, hone their inquiry skills, and nurture their willingness to speak up and out on issues important to them, their communities, and the world—regardless of their age.

Zankel Fellows, partnering with CPET coaches and teaching artists who have expertise in performance and publication projects, will work directly with students in diverse in-school and after-school projects. Helping students and their teachers “Go Public” with their work is a powerful experience, driven by student-centered, project-based learning pedagogy. The Zankel Fellows, working closely with CPET personnel, have a unique opportunity to hone their knowledge, interests, and expertise by engaging with groups of teachers and students across the City to help them share their stories, understandings, and reflections on their topics of study. Projects most often culminate in digital, print, or performance oriented products with a celebration of students’ progress and work.  Zankel Fellows will engage in activities such as: classroom visits, leading presentations with classes or small groups, individual support to students, collaborative planning with teachers, curriculum design, and supports for celebrations of publications. 

Internship site(s): New York City Public Schools (K-12+) in one of over forty partner schools


Reading Specialists at Heritage High School
Sponsors: Dr. Susan Masullo
Department: Reading Specialist MA Program in the Department of Health and Behavior Studies

Heritage High School is a NYC Department of Education school which has a history of chronic underperformance by its student population, many of whom are second language learners. The majority of students in the school demonstrate moderate to severe literacy difficulties. Each Zankel Reading Specialist provides literacy assessment and intervention services directly to students with weak reading and writing skills under the supervision of school personnel. Direct instruction is planned to take place not only in remedial reading classes at the school, but also in content areas classrooms where these high school students need support. Additional time is spent by each Fellow planning literacy activities, meeting with school personnel and the TC supervisor for guidance. Fellows selected for this project may receive the award for one year only.

Internship criteria: Responsible commitment to the Fellowship and the population being served. Prior experience in reading/writing tutoring, particularly with adolescents who struggle. Good professional, collaborative skills for working with classroom teachers and school administration. Ability to accept and seek guidance from site supervisor; can follow-through reliably on guidance provided. Good attendance, punctuality. Understanding of urban high school environments is beneficial but not mandatory.

Internship site(s): The Heritage School, 1680 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10029

Estimated time commitment per week: Five to ten hours working directly with urban youth and five hours preparation/planning of assessment and intervention activities, meetings with school personnel and meetings with TC Zankel Supervisor

Weekly schedule: TBD

Supporting Elementary Science Teaching in Urban Classrooms
Sponsor: Dr. Felicia Mensah
Department: Mathematics, Science and Technology/Science Education Program

The fellow will gain experience in the urban school setting, developing positive relationships with diverse urban youth (predominantly African American, Latino, and English Language Learners), and acquiring knowledge about learning in urban classrooms in general. The fellow will be placed in an urban elementary school (K-5), where s/he will assist the science specialist in science planning and teaching, working directly with students. The fellow will work in small groups in the science laboratory classroom and also support the regular classroom teacher in making connections from the science room to the regular classroom. Pre-service teacher candidates are also placed in the school sites; thus, the fellow may also work with the pre-service teachers. S/he may also conduct research in urban science teaching in the elementary classroom by working with the faculty mentor on her ongoing research in science teacher education.

Internship criteria: Must be motivated to learn and work within a diverse school setting, collaborating closely with teachers and administrators. Desire to improve teaching and learning in urban settings. Science background preferable, though not a must.

Internship site(s): Hamilton Heights School (PS 368M) and/or the Margaret Douglas School (PS 36)

Estimated time commitment per week: 6-10 hours/week working directly with youth; the fellow will spend about 1 hour (or less) per month to discuss progress and learning from the fellowship. The fellow may spend additional time preparing science lessons and researching science curriculum, literature, or resources for students and teachers.

Weekly schedule: TBD


Leveraging Digital Literacy Practices of Diverse Learners
Sponsor: Dr. Detra Price-Dennis
Department: Curriculum and Teaching

In their Policy Research Briefs on 21st Century Learning and 21st Century Literacies, the National Council for Teachers of English (2007, 2009) make a compelling argument for engaging students in 21st century literacy practices in and out of the classroom setting. In addition to voicing the importance of designing classroom spaces where students and teachers have access to current technologies, NCTE advocates for students to develop technological proficiency, understanding how to “access, evaluate, synthesize, and contribute to information” (NCTE, 2009, p. 5). The technology club project is designed to support upper elementary school students’ acquisition of digital fluency and proficiency with technological tools of interest to them. As such, students will have the opportunity to make use of their 21st century literacy skills twice a week as they learn to create multimodal projects using apps and Web 2.0 platforms such as glogster, prezi, animoto, educreations, voicethread, corkulous, stop motion animation, flipboard, iMovie trailer, and garage band.

The Zankel Fellow will work with small groups of fourth and fifth grade students twice a week during their lunch period to explore apps and other Web 2.0 platforms, as well as to introduce the students to coding. In addition to introducing them to apps, coding, and web 2.0 platforms, the Fellow will create an agenda for each meeting, administer a survey at the beginning, middle, and end of the semester, take notes and create a reflection after each session, and audio record group discussions (for projects and debrief). The Fellow will also meet with Professor Price‐Dennis once a week to debrief the sessions, catalog data, and create agendas (1 hour). Prof. Price‐Dennis will provide training on creating and administering the survey, taking notes and creating a reflection, and audio recording/transcription.

Internship criteria: Knowledge of Apple and Android tablets; coding skills; knowledge of apps and web 2.0 platforms that allow students to create multimodal projects and share with global audience; highly organized; effective communicator with children

Internship site(s): PS 236 Langston Hughes Elementary School, 1871 Walton Ave., Bronx, NY 10453

Estimated time commitment per week: The fellow will work directly with youth 5 hours per week and spend another 2 to 3 hours each week planning and preparing for the project. One hour of this time will be spent debriefing, discussing apps, and generating ideas with Dr. Price‐Dennis.

Weekly schedule: School based work, Mondays and Wednesdays from 11am to 1:30pm; other hours TBD


Digital Literacies and Literature Mediating Latino Children’s Learning
Sponsor: Carmen M. Martínez-Roldán
Department: Arts & Humanities, Bilingual Bicultural Education Program

The project aims to support primary-grade bilingual Latino students’ literacy (reading, writing, and digital literacies) in Spanish and English in a public elementary school with a high rate of Latino immigrant students. While access to digital literacies is continually increasing, it is still unevenly distributed across communities as children from non-dominant communities and their families have less access or use differently these technologies (Mills, 2010). This situation needs to be addressed as English language learners “must be provided with an equal opportunity to acquire the same content and high-level skills that school reform movements advocate for all students” (Working Group on ELL Policy, 2010, p. 2), which nowadays include, among other things, the development of multi-literacies (e.g., digital literacies), often in more than one language. Pressures for testing sometime narrow the learning experiences the
students may receive.

The project will support the curriculum the students are receiving but also will extend it with different learning explorations. In coordination with a bilingual teacher from 2nd or 3rd grade, a small group of students will be supported for one hour with their assignments in a type of tutoring situation and one additional hour with bilingual literacy engagements around content areas. Under Dr. Martinez-Roldan’s supervision, the fellow will tutor children either individually or in small groups. The activities could involve sustaining small group literature discussions with the students and using iPads (and educational apps) to search for information, or to create their own stories.

Internship criteria: The fellow needs to be bilingual in Spanish and English and should have interest on working with young children. Preferably, the fellow will have some kind of previous experience interacting with or tutoring Spanish-speaking children (or families).

Internship site(s): Bilingual elementary school PS165, 234 W 109th St, New York, NY 10025

Estimated time commitment per week:
5 hours per week distributed between two days and no more than 5 hours spent planning and preparing for work at the internship site

Weekly schedule: The fellow will be on site twice a week, during the students’ classroom literacy block or as part of an after-school program.


UMOJA Readers and Writers
Sponsor: Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz
Department: Arts & Humanities, English Education Program

UMOJA Readers and Writers (URW) is the academic component of UMOJA mentoring program at Satellite Academy High School. It includes 12 Black and Latino male high school students and seeks to strengthen their reading, writing and analytical skills. There is an additional focus on developing the students’ leadership skills through speeches, debates and public performance. Upon successful completion of URW, students receive .5 high school credits that count toward graduation. The URW curriculum grows the skills the young men need to critically think about a piece of literature, a video clip, or other literacy modalities. An overarching goal is to develop their writing skills and reading fluency and help them become more confident and competent readers, writers, and oral communicators. The Zankel tutor will work with URW students throughout the school year to encourage the young men's love for reading through discussion of culturally-relevant texts given to them at URW and in their humanities classes at Satellite. Fellows selected for this project may receive the award for one year only.

Internship site(s): Satellite Academy High School(s) - 195 Forsyth Street, New York, NY

Estimated time commitment per week: Minimum of five hours spent on site, with additional time dedicated to planning and preparation

Weekly schedule: Mondays and Fridays


Teaching Immigrant Children: Re-Mediating Language and Literacy Practices
Sponsor: Dr. Mariana Souto-Manning
Department: Curriculum & Teaching, Early Childhood Education

The project seeks to apply a re-mediation framework to oral language, literacy skills, and vocabulary knowledge, thus engaging young children who are in Kindergarten in rich and authentic vocabulary practices through play. The Fellows will facilitate play sessions that are developmentally appropriate and culturally relevant in small group settings. He/She will focus on cross-linguistic and trans-cultural aspects of learning, better equipping immigrant children to succeed in traditional academic settings.

The Fellows will meet with children four times a week for a period of two hours each time (eight hours per week). They will serve two groups of four children. Professor Souto-Manning will train, supervise, and coordinate formative and summative assessment (in weekly meetings). The program will serve to extend the school day for these children and deepen their understandings of language and literacy--'"talking, reading and writing. Fellows selected for this project may receive the award for one year only.

Internship site(s): PS 75 (Emily Dickinson School), 735 West End Ave, New York, NY 10025

Estimated time commitment per week: Eight hours spent on site, with additional time dedicated to planning and preparation

Weekly schedule: TBD


Enhancing Mathematics Opportunities in Community Schools
Sponsors: Dr. Erica Walker, Dr. Alexander Karp, Dr. Ye (Angel) Wang
Department: Mathematics Education/Health and Behavior Studies

The project is a joint departmental initiative focused on professional development for teachers, curriculum development related to the Common Core State Standards, as well as mathematics enrichment opportunities for students at the Columbia Secondary School for Science, Mathematics and Engineering (CCSME). The Zankel fellow will support after school enrichment activities in math for high school students by designing and implementing activities for a math club.

We have found that the after school activities in many urban schools are centered on tutoring and remediation, rather than enrichment and exploration. CSSME is a natural setting for ensuring that students are exposed to additional mathematics experiences beyond the mathematics learned in the classroom, and Professors Karp, Walker, and Wang’s experience with gifted and high achieving students is a natural fit for supervising TC students developing and implementing such a program.

Internship criteria: The ideal candidate will have a strong background in mathematics and experience teaching middle school/high school mathematics.

Internship site(s): Columbia Secondary School, 425 W 123rd St, New York, NY 10027

Estimated time commitment per week: The fellow will spend an average of 6 to 8 hours working directly with Columbia Secondary students in classrooms during and after the school day. An additional 2 to 4 hours per week will be spent planning and preparing for the school-based work. 

Weekly schedule: TBD; the fellow will spend at least 3 days per week (2 hours per day) on site