Project LEARN, together with Binghamton University’s Liberty Partnerships Program, launched a program that brought 20 Windsor High School students together with Binghamton University graduate students and Windsor teachers to explore technology and project-based learning while fostering literacy skills.
Graduate School of Education faculty and Project LEARN co-directors Erin Washburn and Candace Mulcahy developed the intensive summer Transition Academy program, where students identified, researched and presented a “Life in the Southern Tier” topic of their choice using multimedia applications.
“It’s a big change going into high school,” said Washburn, assistant professor of literacy education. “Our program is giving the students a leg up, providing literacy skills as well as helping them make contacts in the high school before school starts.”
The Transition Academy aimed to help the Windsor students become high school-, college- and career-ready, while enabling the GSE students to assess and create instructional methods based on their students’ needs. “All ranges of students were involved, from those who struggled in school to those who needed to be challenged,” said Washburn. “It’s typical of what you would see in a high school classroom.”
In addition, the kids involved are now a part of Liberty Partnership, a collaboration between GSE, schools and community agencies that provides support services for more than 200 students each year in the Binghamton, Windsor and Susquehanna Valley school districts. The Transition Academy students will now receive tutoring and mentoring through Liberty Partnership.
“I’m a new teacher at Windsor Middle School,” said Drew Hosinger, one of four GSE students who worked with five Windsor teachers on the project. “This program was a great way to become involved in the district and reacquaint myself with the Graduate School of Education’s Literacy 5-12 program.”
Windsor Superintendent Jason Andrews noted, “Any time you can have a partnership with a higher education institution such as Binghamton University, and have staff and students learn from the collaboration, it’s good for kids.”