As part of the Center for Learning and Professional Education in ENHP, Educational Main Street has adopted a model of research, service, and outreach to integrate its mission to serve the educational needs of the Greater Hartford community and the academic needs of our University students.
The future will be characterized by an unprecedented rate of change. Some predict that new ideas and innovations that may have taken years to come to fruition will, by 2015, take only weeks to emerge. This acceleration of new ideas, new technologies, and new challenges needs to be met by a new breed of teachers and students. The Center for Learning and Professional Education will assist EMS in translational research projects that will provide faster assimilation of data from the public school settings back to the university classrooms. This new data will enable the university and its students to prepare for the reality of an ever changing world.
EMS strives to keep Greater Hartford's youth in school by engaging them in educational partnerships involving children, parents, public schools, community organizations, local businesses, and the University of Hartford. The key to the program's success is its long-range approach to educational support derived from its partnerships. Not only do Greater Hartford’s students benefit from the work of EMS, it also provides our undergraduate University of Hartford students with meaningful service-learning opportunities.
All of our programming involves student tutors with majors in many academic disciplines at the University of Hartford. An increasing number of professors assign service-learning projects as part of their coursework. They find that the tutoring experience is enhanced by and enhances class work. The program is of particular importance for our education majors in that they have experiences in schools at a very early point in their academic career. EMS trained and placed 450 tutors in the years 2009 – 2011.
EMS staff prepare our University students for their tutoring experience. In this preparation, tutors are exposed to the procedures and policies of being a good tutor and the pedagogy of tutoring literacy and numeracy. They receive training in diversity issues and are provided with varied experiences in rural, urban and suburban school settings.
Tutors also explore the research behind the pedagogy from child development theorists Vygotsky, Ericsson, and Piaget. Handbooks are provided on line for students to refer to during their tutoring experience. All tutors complete a weekly reflection sheet linking their experiences to their coursework.
The Educational Main Street Academy is an after-school initiative designed to provide fifth and sixth grade students with unique and challenging after-school programming to support their academic success. Participants stay after school one day a week for programs from 2:50 – 4:50pm. Participants are assigned a University student as mentor/educational coach.
The College Highway Initiative provides programming designed to support 25 seventh and eighth grade students through their middle school years to ensure a successful transition to high school, graduation, and college. Participants stay after school one day a week for programs from 2:50 – 4:50pm. Participants are assigned a University student as mentor/educational coach.
The Leadership Academy provides activities and opportunities for young women in grade 9 to learn and develop leadership skills. The activities include a service activity in which the participants act as role models for other young female students.
The College Expressway works with students in grades 9 through 11 who are interested in preparing for college. The program develops leadership skills, assists in the college application process, assists with SAT preparation, and provides academic tutoring.
The Global After-School Program is funded, in part, by the U.S. Department of Education through a 21st Century After-School Grant. The 21st Century Grant covers programming for students in grades K, 1, 2. The program provides tutoring, academic enrichment, and recreation for children Monday through Thursday from 4-6pm.
The EMS Reading Clubs (Part of the No Child Left Behind Act) works with 21 Hartford students in grades 1 through 4. The students are those identified as falling below the state standards in reading. Participants for the Clubs are self-selected by families. The students receive tutoring two days a week from instructors with a bachelor’s degree and University students. The ratio of student to tutor is 3:2.
The Parents’ College is in the planning stages. It will support parents as first teachers of children. They will have the opportunity to attend courses on literacy, child development, and leadership. They will learn to be advocates for their children’s academic success.
For further information about EMS, contact
Mary Botticelli Christensen