Foundations of Teacher Education students donate books, support first-year teacher
Students in WCTC's Foundations of Teacher Education program raised funds to purchase approximately 125 books for Mara Aparnieks' fourth grade class at Waukesha's Whittier Elementary.
"This summer we launched a campaign to support literacy by providing quality literature for children," said program instructor Carrie Perock, "with an emphasis on diversity in literature."
Perock put special effort into choosing books that would reflect the diversity within Whittier's halls. "Books are meant to be windows and mirrors," she explained. "We want children to see themselves in the books they read (mirrors) as well as stepping into the shoes of someone unlike them (windows). Oftentimes, children lack the books that act as mirrors reflecting the cultural, socioeconomic, ethnic and linguistic groups that are present in today's classrooms."
Donated titles include "Jabari Jumps" by Gaia Cornwall, "It's OK to be Different" by Todd Parr and "All Are Welcome" by Alexandra Penfold, among many others. Each student will choose a book to keep, and the remainder will help fill the classroom library.
Foundations of Teacher Education students are also supporting Vicky Perlongo, a 2018 graduate of the program, who is now a first-year teacher at Pewaukee Lake Elementary. Perlongo will receive a monthly "First-Year Teacher Care Package," including items like children's books, coffee, school supplies and gift cards.
"As future teachers, my students become very involved in community service projects," said Perock. "I truly believe that service learning instills empathy in students and makes them aware of all they can do to impact their local and global communities."
By Chelsey Porth, Writer/Marketing Specialist