Learn more about the ISU 4U Promise and what we're up to this fall!
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Students at King and Moulton received t-shirts from ISU this fall in an effort to teach students and their families more about the ISU 4U Promise. These students wanted to show their appreciation! 
Math texts promote learning in Moulton Kindergarten
Mollie Applegate and Christa Jackson have kicked off their one year study at Moulton elementary. Families who are participating will receive weekly texts to involve them in the math learning of their kindergarten student. These texts will prompt families to engage in math activities in their home that align with the lessons being taught at school. 

Mollie and Christa hope to reach out to families with various language needs. They also hope to debunk the idea that it's hard for parents to support math learning at home.

One example of a recent text message: In math class this week we have been counting and drawing numbers up to 9. Ask your child to stack 3 things (e.g., boxes, cups). Make an additional stack that is taller. Ask - how many are there altogether?

To learn more, check out this news story from Angie Hunt at the ISU News Service!
ISU students volunteer in King and Moulton classrooms

This semester the ISU 4U Promise kicked off a volunteer program aimed to place ISU student volunteers in each classroom at King and Moulton. The program requires volunteers to commit to a year-long promise of visiting the classroom that they are matched with once a week while ISU classes are in session. 

The idea came from teachers at King and Moulton who wanted their students to learn more about Iowa State and college in general. Teachers believed that ISU role models, especially ones who returned over multiple visits, could help students at King and Moulton better understand college and the many career options available to them at ISU. 

In its first semester the program is proud to have eight amazing ISU students volunteering in the schools. These students represent nearly every college, and a couple are even Moulton Elementary School alumni! Any ISU students interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer at King or Moulton for the 2017 spring semester can email Kayla at krp@iastate.edu to learn more or go to our website to apply. 

School Spotlight
Kim Bartell: Moulton ELL Teacher
Josie Laska: ELL Practica Student

Kim Bartell is a long-time Moulton teacher who specializes in teaching English language learners (ELL). Kim's passion for teaching students is obvious, and she goes above and beyond by serving the ISU 4U Promise as a teacher liaison team member. This semester Kim is pleased to have Josie Laska, an ISU elementary education major with an emphasis in ELL, as a practicum student in her classroom. Josie has served the ISU 4U Promise Design Dialogues project as an undergraduate facilitator and is thrilled to be at Moulton for her practicum this fall. "The promise means hope to me," says Kim. "Families no longer have to talk to their children about going to college IF they have enough money to go, but now only if they are willing to work hard enough to go. It gives every student a path to college that may not have been so clear to them before." About the ISU 4U Promise, Josie says, "As a future teacher, it is my responsibility to see potential in students, let them know that they can do anything they put their mind to, and to work with them to set educational and lifelong goals to become the individuals they want to become."
Community Spotlight
Cynthia Hunafa: Creative Visions

Creative Visions is a community resource institute in the King and Moulton neighborhoods. Its COO, Cynthia Hunafa, taught at Moulton for nearly 20 years. This is Creative Visions’ 20th Anniversary of working to meet the needs of the community through education, health (by hosting a free weekly clinic), and food security.  This is achieved through volunteer efforts, forming vital partnerships, and maintaining close ties with King (teaching a class with their after school program) and Moulton (volunteering at CFUM’s after school reading program). One of these partnerships is with the ISU 4U Promise. Cynthia visited ISU's multicultural education classes to talk with future teachers about meeting the needs of students in multicultural settings. Creative Visions has also reached out to students who are eligible for the ISU 4U Promise in an effort to sustain relationships supporting the goal of college access. Creative Visions wants to ensure that all of the eligible students are indeed ready to go to ISU. "In a community where tremendous attention is paid to negative on-goings," says Cynthia, "the ISU 4U Promise has been designed to encourage many aspects of our community to engage in this ongoing process of readying students and their families for the challenges of college and all the successes that can come from that experience. This is something I'd love to see our entire community wrap its arms around and shout from the rooftops in support of this opportunity for our children."
ISU Spotlight
Dr. Carla A. McNelly: ISU 4U Promise

Working as the Post-Doctoral Research Associate within the ISU 4U Promise program, Carla A. McNelly works closely on multiple ethnographic research projects with a group of interdisciplinary professors across campus. Her personal research focus and areas of interest include: Cross-cultural Communication, Bilingual and Multilingual Education, United States and International Bilingual Education Policy, Decolonizing Methodologies, Indigenous Cultural Survival, History of Honduras, Immigration, and Transnationalism. Carla’s major contribution to the ISU 4U Promise is supporting the research projects of Drs. Richardson Bruna and Cammarota within her local community of Des Moines, Iowa. She says, “Because I live and work in Des Moines, I am also accountable to my neighbors, their children, the Des Moines Public School system, and the community-based organizations where the work is centered.” Carla’s long term goals are to become a tenured professor with a focus on research, to use her education and experience to serve her local state or federal governments, and to join the service of an International Non-Governmental Organization (INGO) in Honduras.

M is for Mosquitoes and Me students share their learning

The Urban Ecosystem Project (a supporting program of the ISU 4U Promise) held a public presentation on Saturday, September 24th at the Forest Avenue Library in Des Moines. Four young scientists who attended the Mosquitoes and Me summer camp this past July shared what they had learned about mosquitoes. They also explained the role that mosquitoes play in the ecosystem and how to prevent mosquitoes in their own neighborhood.

For the elementary education majors in the Urban Ecosystem Project who also attended, it was a chance to better understand the neighborhood where ISU 4U Promise students live and see the results of ambitious science teaching. These students have elected to take a special course titled Teaching and Learning with Insects. After observing the young scientists' presentations, Jana Teed, a future teacher remarked, “I was impressed with how the students explained their learning experience from Mosquitoes and Me as more active, hands-on, and not focused on 'grades.' This made me realize how important ambitious science teaching really is! I want to provide these learning opportunities for my future students."

During the public presentation in September several of the parents mentioned they’d like to learn more about mosquitoes, so the Urban Ecosystem Project held another event for students and their families. On Saturday, November 5th, at Children and Family Urban Movement (CFUM), Dr. Katherine Richardson Bruna, with project co-investigator Dr. Lyric Bartholomay, and visiting advisory board member Dr. Janet Hecsh led ambitious science lessons for parents modeled on those their students experienced during the summer camp. 

The Urban Ecosystem Project seeks to encourage ISU 4U Promise students to pursue science interests, prepare elementary education majors to teach science in ways that all students learn, and engage in public health education around the topic of mosquitoes.

The Fall 2016 Urban Ecosystems Project cohort is made up of ISU elementary education majors interested in teaching ambitious science. 
Pilot project takes off for practica students at King and Moulton

Elementary education students placed at King and Moulton for practica this year will participate in a pilot project. They will be asked to watch a video each day of their eight-day practicum. These videos were inspired by Diversity Pedagogy: Examining the Role of Culture in the Teaching-Learning Process by Rosa Hernadez Sheets. The videos cover a range of topics related to multicultural education and are presented through the voices of teachers, community leaders and ISU educators. 

The purpose of the project is to support practica students at King and Moulton particularly because of the special relationship between these schools and Iowa State. There is also a need for more conversation around issues of multicultural education. These videos act as a springboard for conversation about multicultural teaching and learning; each video ends with a challenge - typically questions for the practica student to ask their cooperating teacher or the students in the classroom. The hope is that throughout their eight day practicum they will have opportunities to talk about many issues, for instance how to differentiate for students who are learning English as a second language, or evaluating their own biases. 

You can view the videos here!
Fifth grade Moulton students look on as DOT and InTrans engineers test their bridge. Twenty four Moulton students participated in this year's Ready, Set, Build! Bridge Competition at the Science Center of Iowa.  
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