North Central College's education department has been awarded a grant from The DuPage Community Foundation to support a summer school program in Addison.
The award will enable continuation of a program provided by North Central College education students, who gain valuable experience teaching literacy and mathematics to high-need students. The grant is part of more than $200,000 recently distributed by the DuPage Community Foundation to various organizations.
"DuPage is home to many not-for-profit organizations that are doing wonderful work to make our community a better place in which to live," said Barb Szczepaniak, the foundation's director of programs. "We're proud to support the efforts of these organizations and wish them well as they expand their efforts in DuPage County."
North Central College established the summer school program in 2010 to serve children in kindergarten through fourth grade at Lincoln Elementary School in Addison Elementary District 4. The program takes place three hours a day, three days a week, for six weeks. A free breakfast, which family members may also attend, is available for children each day before classes begin.
Enrollment in the free program has climbed steadily each year and now exceeds 80. The North Central education majors volunteer their time to participate in the program, though they may earn credit toward internship requirements.
"They have the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired in their courses to a real-life situation while serving students in this high-need school," said Maureen Kincaid, chairman of North Central College's department of education and associate professor of education.
"They have to plan three days in a row and learn how to adjust their lessons, an experience they only have during student teaching. This program provides North Central teacher candidates the opportunity to develop their skills further before student teaching."
North Central College alumni Kate Pereda and Kim Heupel teach at Lincoln Elementary and help coordinate the summer school program.
Alumni of North Central College's teacher- and principal-preparation programs have recently earned accolades for excellence, including an Illinois State Board of Education Teacher of the Year, an Illinois Education Association Teacher of the Year, an Illinois Principals Association Elementary School Principal of the Year, a Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching, an Illinois Art Education Association Illinois Art Educator of the Year and a Milken Educator Award.
Principals regularly inquire about the availability of educators who have completed North Central's teacher-preparation program.
The college's newly redesigned education curriculum is aligned with the Common Core standards, the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards and the Danielson Framework for Teaching.
During every step of their education at North Central, candidates are assessed using the Teacher Performance Assessment guidelines developed by Stanford University.
Visit northcentralcollege.edu/majors/education to learn more.