Cook County Extension 2017 Summer Edition Newsletter
Th e Pr IM ES Pr oject In May, STEM Educators Sue Gasper and Meghan McCleary were awarded an Illinois State Board of Education Math-Science Partnership Grant along with colleagues from UIUC campus. The PrIMES project ? Pr actices Integrated across M athematics, Engineering and Science - focuses on providing Kindergarten through 8th grade teachers with extended professional development around the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The PrIMES development team is working to create a series of high quality integrated professional development activities grounded in STEM education research. By connecting teachers with the latest research, the team hopes to bridge the gap between theory and practice to help teachers develop a deep understanding of key science and engineering practices, and learn how to leverage these practices to enhance student learning in science and math. In June and July, a cohort of 35 urban and rural teachers spent two weeks on the UIUC campus where Gasper, McCleary, and the PrIMES team provided them with 90 hours of professional development. During the first week of their summer institute, teachers were immersed as students in a NGSS learning experience consistent with the new vision outlined in the Framework for K-12 Science Education. The second week of the institute provided teachers with the tools needed to start developing their own NGSS-aligned curricula, and small grade-specific groups began creating storyline units. During the 2017-18 school year, teachers will pilot parts of these storylines in their own classrooms and continue to develop curricula with their small groups under the guidance of the PrIMES team. In accordance with the grant, Extension Educators and the PrIMES team will provide an additional 112 hours of professional development, including another extended institute in the summer of 2018.
Par t n er in g w it h Con gr essm an Dan n y Davis Small Animal Educator, Courtyne Jackson, DVM, partnered with Congressman Danny Davis at the 21st Annual 7th Congressional District Education Ceremony, celebrating scholarship recipients. Jackson along with a panel of other professionals spoke about careers in their field of expertise , providing students with exposure to a variety of careers.
Tr au m a, Com passion an d Resilien cy Ret r eat The Trauma, Compassion and Resiliency Retreat was held this summer at the Cook County headquarters office in July and at the Westchester branch office in August. The retreat focused on how trauma affects classroom learning, and provided teachers with classroom strategies for building resilient learners. Included in the 35 participants were a diverse mix of administrators, classroom, and support/auxiliary personnel. Each retreat took place over two days and included a total of four classes: Introduction to Trauma, Compassion and Resiliency; Self-Care for Teachers; Strategies for Building a Compassionate Classroom; and Raising Mental Health Awareness. Classes were facilitated by Community Health Educator, Michele Crawford. As a result of the retreat, classes have been taught at Lansing School District 158, Brighton Park Elementary School and Healthy Schools Campaign. An upcoming session is scheduled for staff at North Lawndale College Prep in November.
Secon d Coh or t The Master Urban Farmer Training Program (MUFTP) ended its 2nd 12-week training session on July 26, 2017. The program consisted of 30 adult trainees with a variety of backgrounds from beginning growers with no experience, teachers, community gardeners, and budding urban ag entrepreneurs. The 2017 session was held at The Children?s Farm in Palos Park, IL. This 65 acre working farm provided a wonderful backdrop and some eyes-on learning opportunities for the participants. Evaluation of the program is underway to make the MUFTP better than ever. The possibility of breaking the MUFTP into two separate sessions is being considered as a new format. One winter session would involve skills rela