Third Annual Student Outreach Showcase

The third annual Student Outreach Showcase was an opportunity for TC students to exhibit the work that they have done in New York schools and the surrounding community.  Held on Thursday, May 6, 2010, this year’s Student Outreach Showcase consisted of Teachers College students and affiliates from more than twenty organizations.

Dr. Chris Emdin delivers the keynote address

Dr. Chris Emdin

Dr. Chris Emdin, an Assistant Professor of Science Education at Teachers College who has recently been awarded both the Outstanding Dissertation Award and Emerging Leader Award from Phi Delta Kappa, delivered the keynote address.  His remarks focused on the importance of outreach work at Teachers College and the essential connections between theory and practice.  Invoking Grace Hoadley Dodge’s philanthropic aims in founding Teachers College, Dr. Emdin urged the presenters to see their work not as extraordinary, but as fulfilling the underlying themes and goals of the institution.  Dr. Emdin was adamant that practice must be informed by the college’s values: “Without these values, our work is valueless; merely an academic exercise,” he said.  For students who feel disconnected from the realities of New York City classrooms, Dr. Emdin suggested that they look to Teachers College’s mission – to serve the poor and underserved.  Speaking directly to students, Dr. Emdin emphasized the importance of making outreach a part of everyday life: students must connect outreach work with their courses, discuss projects with professors and colleagues, and write about their experiences in papers and articles.  Emdin’s message was clear: outreach must be a part of Teachers College students’ daily life.  He praised the outstanding accomplishments at the Student Outreach Showcase, but said that their work was not done: “We need to keep going.”

For more information on Dr. Emdin:

The organizations from this year reflected a broad range of topics and interests.  The presenters from Arts and Humanities included Student Press Initiative, The Philosophy Outreach, and The Performing Arts Program for Harlem Schools.  Several of the projects were made possible by Arthur Zankel Fellowships, stipends provided to masters and doctoral students for working in TC sponsored outreach programs which benefit inner-city youth in New York.

Student Press Initiative

Student Press Initiative’s mission is to embed publication into reading and writing instruction.  Their display board was loaded with recent publications as well as information about an upcoming book release on May 27 at 10:30 AM in the Cowin Center.  SPI will release their first multivolume work, titled Speaking Worlds, with authors from over fifteen countries.  There was also information about SPI’s upcoming Summer institute (July 12-15) which will feature experts in curriculum design and student publishing, publication strategies, and book production tools.

For more information about Student Press Initiative:

Philosophy Outreach

The Philosophy Outreach at Columbia is a collaborative project created by graduate students in the Philosophy and Education Program at Teachers College and the Department of Philosophy at Columbia University.  The biggest news at the Philosophy Outreach display was the launch of their new website.  Loaded with new content and descriptions of a wide range of workshops for students, teachers, and administrators, the website is a fantastic way for those interested in improving curriculum and teaching practices through philosophical inquiry.

For more information about Philosophy Outreach:

Performing Arts Program for Harlem Schools

The Performing Arts Series has brought more than 3,000 students from area schools to Teachers College to watch performances of opera, theater, and music.  The Office of School and Community Partnerships has created curricular extensions and supplementary materials based on New York State standards for each of the performances.  The performances have included an introduction of opera titled Alice In Operaland! based on the popular children’s book by Lewis Carroll, an exploration of jazz music by musicians from Manhattan School of Music.  A third performance based on E. L. Konigsburg’s novel, From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. This year’s performances have been for students in grades 2-6.

For more information about the Performing Arts Program for Harlem Schools:

Office of School and Community Partnerships

The Outreach Showcase was sponsored by the Office of School and Community Partnerships, which works to establish networks and opportunities to the benefit of underserved and underrepresented youth in New York City.  OSCP works with 26 schools reaching 15,000 students each year, and has raised over 10 million dollars in the past three years.

Dr. Emily Zemke, the Associate Director of School Partnerships at Teachers College, said of the showcase, “It was an opportunity to thank everyone who is working in New York schools and the local community, and to celebrate their achievements.”  Extremely happy with this year’s event, Dr. Zemke said, “the showcase gets bigger and better with every year.  It was wonderful to recognize the range and quality of outreach work and to see support from so many in the TC community.”

For more information about the Office of School and Community Partnerships: