School of Education and Human Development Leads Recruiting and Training Efforts To Continue Connecticut’s Successful Summer Enrichment Program

School of Education and Human Development Leads Recruiting and Training Efforts To Continue Connecticut’s Successful Summer Enrichment Program

Students in the classroom

2021 Corps Members at Full Circle Youth Empowerment in Bridgeport, Conn.

Corps members learn the principles of relationship and community building, teamwork, and inclusion of all students to provide meaningful educational experiences for K-12 youth this summer.

College Corps CT benefitted K-12 children, undergraduate students, and the host sites where the Corps members worked. We are excited that we have the opportunity to lead the program again this summer.

— Dean Laurie Grupp, PhD

For the second year in a row Fairfield University, in collaboration with the Connecticut Office of Higher Education, Connecticut State Department of Education, and other public and private higher education institutions across the state, has recruited and trained college students to provide meaningful educational experiences for youth this summer.

The Connecticut College Corps program launched in summer, 2021 in response to Governor Ned Lamont’s plan to provide K-12 students and families, who have had their school years significantly disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with engaging educational experiences. Earlier this month Governor Lamont announced that the Connecticut State Department of Education will dedicate $8 million of federal American Rescue Plan funding to continue the state’s highly successful Summer Enrichment Program.

“College Corps CT benefitted K-12 children, undergraduate students, and the host sites where the Corps members worked,” said Dean Laurie Grupp, PhD. “We are excited that we have the opportunity to lead the program again this summer.”

Joshua Elliott, EdD, assistant professor of the practice and director of Educational Technology, is leading the overall program for Fairfield University in collaboration with Alyson Martin, EdD, associate professor and co-director of Special Education, Stephaney Morrison, PhD, LPC, NBCC, associate dean and associate professor of counselor education, and Emily Smith, PhD, professor of Educational Studies and Teacher Preparation who have overseen the development and delivery of training for Corps Members in collaboration with a number of University faculty and staff.

Undergraduate college students who will serve as Corps members this summer have undergone a weeklong training, with the primary focus on relationship-building with K-12 students. Helping the students build meaningful relationships is particularly important following two years of isolation, interrupted learning, and trauma following the Covid and racial pandemics, explained Martin, Morrison, and Smith.

Training modules include topics such as creating a community of belonging, accommodations and modifications, and power and privilege using an anti-racist and education, inquiry, and justice (EDIJ) framework. Corp members participate in activities, discussion, and reflection around topics including social-emotional health, engaging and including all students regardless of ability, race, gender, sexuality and/or religion, and anti-racist practices. Based on feedback from Corps members who participated in the program last year, all training modules have been updated to make explicit how each module topic is connected to EDIJ outcomes and to the work of the Corps members.

College students who participated in the program last year reported positive, meaningful experiences at their sites as well as significant personal growth and learning.

“I have become more outgoing and assertive,” shared one 2021 Corps Member. “I learned how to teach my campers conflict resolution, emotional regulation, and how to have fun while using their imagination. By helping my campers have a fun summer, I helped myself reflect on my own thoughts, feelings, and opinions. I also gained more social skills through engaging with campers, coworkers, and parents.”

To learn more visit fairfield.edu/collegecorpsct.

Tags:  SEHD

Last modified: 06-10-22 10:50 AM

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