The Association of Teacher Educators – Indiana (ATE-I) awarded Central Elementary their Outstanding School Award this fall. Central was nominated by Valparaiso University in recognition of the valuable service it performs by providing practical tutoring and mentoring experiences for pre-service education teacher candidates through the VU Study Buddy Tutoring program. Central received the award at a state reception and banquet held at the Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park in Nashville, Indiana on October 12, 2013.
This marks the sixth year students at Central will benefit from the Study Buddy program. Through the years, Central has had VU students work with children before and after school. Currently, we have about ten VU students that tutor students in our before school program that occurs daily. Also, our Title I teacher, Title I aides and an AmeriCorp volunteer team up to facilitate the program. About forty Central students attend the program for varies reasons. Some students come in for assistance with their homework or to study for an upcoming test. Other students come in as part of their RtI (Response to Instruction) program to work on a variety of research based intervention computer programs to increase their Math and/or Language Arts skills. Others are advanced learners that come to work on a program called Think Through Math. As students work through a variety of programs it is helpful to have a VU Study Buddy nearby. Sometimes, the Study Buddy may help with difficult problems, listen to them read, or just be the familiar face to give them the needed encouragement and support. Students come in as early at 7:45 to get a head start on their school day.
We are fortunate to have supportive parents that are willing to bring their children to school for the extra support we offer. The before school program allows Central Elementary achieve many accolades. Some of these include: high scores on the state ISTEP+ test, the Four Star School Award, and a School letter grade “A”. It is also one of the many ways that we show our school community how much we care for our students and their learning. At Central, all students and staff enjoy giving 100% effort everyday. As a staff we strive to mirror the powerful words of Maya Angelou, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Pictured from Left: Del Gillispie, PhD, Valparaiso University Assistant Professor, Dept. of Education/Biology, Mindy Heuring, Kindergarten Teacher, Laura Doran, 1st Grade Teacher, and Elizabeth Krutz, Principal of Central Elementary, at the ATE-I Banquet.