Learn more about the ISU 4U Promise and what we're up to this winter!
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Katie S. and Cynthia reaching students at North High School in Des Moines.
Outreach Work Expands with 11th-Grade Promise Scholars

The first cohort of ISU 4U Promise students will be arriving on campus in a little less than three semesters. This group is unique because they were eighth graders at Moulton the year the ISU 4U Promise was announced. That was the very last year Moulton had middle school students so this small cohort was "grandfathered in" to receive the tuition award. This leaves a gap in ISU 4U Promise cohorts, as the next oldest students are just in eighth grade this year. 

Luckily, Katie Seifert, the ISU 4U Promise Graduate Assistant and Peace Corps Coverdell Fellow, has chosen to focus her graduate research and her job duties on this important cohort. 

With the help of Cynthia Hunafa, COO at Creative Visions, a non-profit situated about halfway between King and Moulton schools, Katie has begun conversations with high school staff at four of the Des Moines high schools serving ISU 4U Promise scholars. 

Working with the staff at the high schools, Katie and Cynthia hope to connect directly with each and every one of the 22 eleventh graders eligible for the ISU 4U Promise tuition award. Since the ISU 4U Promise is relatively new and this is the oldest group of students, they didn't get the same messaging as their younger counterparts while they were still at Moulton. It's Katie's mission to ensure they understand the options available to them and get the resources they need to successfully apply to and join the ISU community. 

ISU 4U Promise offers AEA Course to Teachers
King and Moulton teachers have been asking for resources connecting college-going to the elementary curriculum since the ISU 4U Promise was first announced. This past semester, Kayla Pippitt, the ISU 4U Promise Program Assistant, has been collecting a list of those desired resources with the hopes of offering an AEA course for teachers. 

"The idea really started with the teachers," says Kayla. "I knew I couldn't create all of these lessons and resources on my own." Kayla figured out how to get the help she needed, while also offering something the teachers needed: class credit. 

Three teachers are enrolled for the spring 2017 course, officially called "Creating Elementary Classroom Resources to Promote a College-Going Culture." These teachers are each creating at least three lesson plans to be added to a shared folder that all King and Moulton teachers will be able to access. 

Kayla hopes that the course can be offered every year (or semester) in the future to allow teachers to add to and improve upon the list of resources on a regular basis. Teachers receive one continuing education credit for taking part in this 15 hour course. 

As one teacher said during the first class, "This is important work that we are doing!"
School Spotlight
Chelsey Sprietzer: King Elementary

Chelsey Sprietzer is a second and third grade teacher at King Elementary. She participates in the ISU 4U Promise teacher liaison team, providing helpful leadership at King as well as insightful feedback to ISU 4U Promise staff. Chelsey is motivated to be part of the liaison team because she knows that many of her students need additional supports in order to visualize themselves at college. About the ISU 4U Promise, Chelsey says, "the ISU 4U Promise is a great program for my students. ISU 4U provides my students with opportunities they may not be able to be given otherwise. In addition, teachers have a chance to talk about college in a positive way and help our students think more about attending in the future! I have had a great time working with ISU on making this promise happen for my students!”
Community Spotlight
Janelle Mueller: Children and Family Urban Movement

Janelle Mueller is the Program Director for Children and Family Urban Movement (CFUM). Janelle oversees programming for students at CFUM, including educational programming for students from Kindergarten through high school as well as the Supper Club program, which provides daily meals to the community. In her 16 years at CFUM, Janelle has become an important part of the CFUM and Moulton communities and has been a vital partner in helping guide the work of the ISU 4U Promise. Janelle is serving as a board member for the Community Alliance this year. When asked about the impact on the neighborhood's children and families, Janelle said, "ISU 4U has started conversations in the community with families, educational staff, and agency support providers that rarely happened in the past. There are more plans being made, futures being considered, and hope being highlighted from ISU’s commitment to two very exciting neighborhoods.”
ISU Spotlight
Andrea Nelson: ISU Extension and Outreach – Polk County

Andrea Nelson is the Executive Director of ISU Extension and Outreach, Polk County, an important partner in the work of the ISU 4U Promise. ISU Extension and Outreach offers dozens of programs and services for Polk County residents and Andrea has worked to connect her staff and resources to the students and families at King and Moulton. Most notably, she worked to establish the Community Alliance. Andrea elaborates by sharing, "in addition to bringing students tremendous opportunities, the Promise has been a vehicle for community engagement. King and Moulton schools are surrounded by passionate community organizations, businesses and individuals that are committed to supporting families throughout their student’s education. The Community Alliance works to channel the collective interests of the member organizations to build capacity to serve Promise families with a variety of opportunities and programs that provide meaningful impact.”
Mini-Conference Highlights Many Collaborators

The second annual ISU 4U Promise Mini-Conference highlighted the work of many ISU 4U Promise collaborators. After College of Human Sciences (CHS) Dean Laura Jolly welcomed the crowd, Associate Dean Linda Hagedorn, also of CHS, set the stage for an exciting morning. 

School of Education assistant professors Mollie Appelgate and Christa Jackson presented on their family engagement project with the kindergarten teachers at Moulton. They are working with the teachers to create text messages that help support mathematics at home. Attendees even got to participate in some kindergarten math by building 2- and 3-D shapes.

ISU 4U Promise Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Carla A. McNelly presented with undergraduate facilitator Stacy Mears about their work with Design Dialogues. They asked attendees to engage in some data analysis as they described some of the activities they have been doing with youth at Callanan Middle School. 

Students Austin Castillo-Leovan and Roaa Abdelrahman represented the first group of ISU 4U Promise volunteers, by sharing their stories of working in elementary classrooms. Andrea Nelson, Executive Director of Polk County Extension and Outreach, shared an update on the work of the Community Alliance in the King and Moulton neighborhoods. 

Urban Ecosystems Project Graduate Assistant Hildah Makori, along with undergraduate student Stephanie Schneider, presented about ambitious science teaching. Todd Abraham, RISE research scientist, shared the preliminary work of the evaluation of the ISU 4U Promise. 

"Voices" of students, teachers, and community organization leaders, as well as additional information about the ISU 4U Promise and other promise programs, were also woven into the event. 

You can view videos from the mini-conference here

Conference attendees practice their 2- and 3-D shapes with the help of Drs. Appelgate and Jackson.
Community Alliance Announces Board Members

Created by ISU Extension and Outreach, the Community Alliance provides a structure for community organizations, agencies and businesses to participate in the ISU 4U Promise. The objective of the Community Alliance is to align in- and out-of-school supports to help reach the overarching goal of the ISU 4U Promise -- a college-going pathway for youth attending King and Moulton elementary schools. The Community Alliance believes that the organizations that serve the youth and families of these two schools are an integral aspect of the success of the ISU 4U Promise.

In 2016, a steering committee helped lead the Community Alliance to the structure it has today. The goal of the steering committee was to establish a Board to lead the Community Alliance each year moving forward. In November, the steering committee took nominations and then in December the Community Alliance members voted on their 2017 Board Members. The Community Alliance is pleased to announce its 2017 Board Members: 

2017 Board Members
President: Martha McCormick, Next Step Adventure
President Elect: Cynthia Hunafa, Creative Visions
Secretary: Billy Stone, Oakridge Neighborhood Services
At-Large: Janelle Mueller, Children and Family Urban Movement

Copyright © 2017 ISU 4U Promise, All rights reserved.

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