ATLANTA — Georgia State University’s College of Education & Human Development selected Sheltering Arms Educare Center, the Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School as the 2022 recipients of its CEHD Partnership Award.
This annual award honors the valuable partnerships that exist between the college and members of the community. It celebrates these joint efforts to address educational and community challenges and advance the public good through sustained and collaborative initiatives.
Sheltering Arms Educare Center is one of the nation’s most innovative school readiness programs. Located on the first floor of Dunbar Elementary School in Atlanta, Sheltering Arms Educare Center’s research-based early learning is aligned with the school’s K-5 curriculum. Gary Bingham, professor in the Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education and director of the college’s Urban Child Study Center, nominated Sheltering Arms Educare Center for its decadelong research-practice partnership.
Their collaborative work addresses opportunity gaps stemming from systemic racism by transforming the lives of children and their families through high-quality, equitable early childhood education and leadership. It also provides a critical context for supporting the academic development of Georgia State students in research-related roles to support partnership activities. UCSC researchers engage with the Sheltering Arms Educare Center in various research and practice-based partner activities designed to help teachers, children and families.
The Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing supports the deaf and hard-of-hearing community and fosters and nurtures partnerships in Atlanta and across Georgia. Jessica Scott, associate professor in the Department of Learning Sciences, nominated the center for the community-focused partnership they established in 2017.
One of the partnership’s most significant achievements is the annual STEM HANDS Camp, a summer program for deaf and hard-of-hearing teens that provides them with hands-on experiences in STEM fields. This weeklong camp is hosted at Georgia State, where students live in the dorms, engage in STEM learning experiences, meet deaf professionals working in STEM fields and participate in STEM-related field trips. The center has also hosted a Parent Literacy Night alongside Scott and her students. Parents are invited to come and learn about home-based literacy development activities they can do with their deaf or hard-of-hearing children.
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Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School is an International Baccalaureate school in the Atlanta Public Schools system. Jacob Hackett, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Middle and Secondary Education, nominated the school for its six-year partnership with the middle level education program.
Teacher education students take field-based courses at King Middle School to help deconstruct deficit-based assumptions that Georgia State students may have of a historically marginalized school and community. The courses also have a service-learning component called the Panther Buddy Program, which pairs King Middle students with Georgia State students. This mutually beneficial relationship provides tutoring assistance to the King Middle student and provides the Georgia State teacher candidate insight into a middle schooler’s lived experiences. In addition, several Georgia State students have graduated and accepted teaching jobs at the school over the course of this partnership.
The 2022 recipients were celebrated at the college’s Partnership Award Celebration on Nov. 1.
“As we move into a season where demonstrating gratitude is top of mind, I couldn’t think of a better time to gather with you to offer a heartfelt thank you to all the people who make collaboration with partnerships possible,” DaShaunda Patterson, CEHD associate dean for faculty development and equity, said at the event. “The commitment and relationships with our community, school and research partners are a vital component to the overall mission and vision of the college.”
For more information about the college’s Partnership Award, visit https://education.gsu.edu/cehd-partnership-award.