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Inspiring a Love of Writing

imageFrom left to right: Queens Secondary Education major William Yates and Elementary Education major Sean Lindsey teach creative writing to third graders.
10/24/13 -  

Elementary and Secondary Education majors at Queens' Cato School of Education recently received hands-on classroom experience as part of Professor Jennifer Collins' "Introduction to Urban Education" class. With the help of Professor Collins, Queens students co-taught a creative writing class over the course of a week to third graders at Walter G. Byers School.

The class was taught as part of a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) camp sponsored by the Arts & Science Council to support Project L.I.F.T., an organization that transforms the way students who traditionally perform poorly in school are educated. 

Professor Collins had one goal in mind when she decided to get Queens students involved: immerse them in an urban classroom to prove that poverty does not define potential in students. According to Collins, kids are not empty vessels. It is the job of classroom teachers to locate students' strengths and talents and build upon what is already there.

In the end, the class inspired the third graders' love of writing, empowered them to find their own voice and to share their story with the world. It was also an eye-opening experience for the Elementary and Secondary Education majors at Queens.

"The time we spent at Walter G. Byers School for their STEAM camp showed me yet another reason why I love kids so much," said Queens Student William Yates. "The classes we worked with were full of incredible boys and girls brimming with the potential to do something masterful with their lives." 

More on Project L.I.F.T.

Project Leadership & Investment For Transformation (L.I.F.T.) is a public/private partnerhsip organized as a non-profit organization, operating as one of five zone offices in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System. Their work impacts nine schools: Allenbrook Elementary, Ashley Park Pre K-8 School, Bruns Academy, Druid Hills Academy, Ranson IB Middle School, Statesville Road Elementary,  Thomasboro Academy, Walter G. Byers School and West Charlotte High School. Project L.I.F.T. provides students with a strong educational foundation that includes reading, math and culture using a unique approach to teaching and learning that includes bold, innovative strategies. This approach transforms the way students who traditionally perform poorly in school are educated, ensuring students are equipped and ready to enter the 21st century and beyond.

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