Grant Helps Education Faculty Host Community Learning Nights
Who said learning can’t be fun? With the help of State Farm Insurance Company, three faculty members from the Department of Education hosted community-learning nights at local schools surrounding Cal Poly Pomona.
In February, Dr. Teshia Roby helped to excite over 300 students and their families about literacy by co-hosting a Family Literacy Night event at Cal Aero Preserve Academy in the Chino Valley School District (CVUSD). The Family Literacy Night consisted of literacy games and activities for K- 8 students and their families. The event began with an informational session for parents on how to promote reading in everyday family life, and tips for preparing their students for success with the reading comprehension program used throughout CVUSD. The presentation was followed by family time with 12, grade-specific games and activity stations. The activities were designed to reinforce grade-appropriate literacy skills. Families followed the activity map specified for their child’s grade level and received stamps and prizes for performing each activity designated on the map. At the end of the “journey” students created a custom bookmark to take home and use for reading. The event was so successful that the Department of Education was asked to make the event an annual event.
In November and again in March, Dr. Cesar Larriva hosted Family Math Night at Collegewood Elementary School in Walnut Unified School District. Larriva has been collaborating with Collegewood teachers to deliver Family Math Night since 2007. With more than 150 in attendance at each of the two recent events, Collegewood students and their families participated in hands on activities and games that address the Common Core math standards and show the parents and students that significant math learning can be fun. Cal Poly Pomona students from Larriva’s TED 425 course Theory and Practice in Mathematics Education led the learning math centers. In addition to leading the activities, Larriva’s students created handouts describing the activities so that parents could recreate them at home.
In May, Dr. Janeen Vosley hosted a Family Science Night during Open House at Kellogg Polytechnic Elementary School in Pomona Unified School District. The Family Science night consisted of science games and activities for K-6 students and their families. With a total of ten activities going on simultaneously, students and their families were able to participate in each activity as they entered different classrooms. Some of the activities included making slime, planting seeds, having balloon races, and observing a lava lamp demonstration. All activities were designed to develop an understanding of static electricity. As a bonus, Cal Poly Pomona students from TED 431 Theory and Practice in Science Education and TED 499 Special Topics in Science Education were able to gain classroom experience by leading the activities.
The Department of Education is already planning more Family Night events for the upcoming year. In addition to Dr. Roby’s Literature Night, Dr. Vosley’s Science Night, and Dr. Larriva’s Math Night, faculty members hope to create additional family learning. Education Department Chair, Dr. Dorothy MacNevin, is thrilled that the faculty are creating the family nights because “these community-learning events are some of the most powerful ways to engage parents and their children in sharing the sheer joy of education. It is impossible to calculate the profound impact, both immediate and long-term, that such activities have on motivating students and parents to collaborate together in exploring new knowledge. These experiences help to forge invaluable connections between the school and the home, which are truly interconnected learning communities. Parents and their children are inspired and empowered to augment the learning that takes place in school with learning opportunities that can be pursued outside of school. What State Farm has done to help us promote the true value of education is priceless!”