Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY … Hofstra University’s student chapter of ASCD (the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) has the opportunity every year to attend and present at the national organization’s annual conference. At this year’s conference, held March 16-18, 2013, in Chicago, five students representing Hofstra joined their peers from other participating colleges and universities to volunteer at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. This effort was part of an impressive tradition of ASCD students partnering on a community project to benefit the conference host city.
At Hofstra, the ASCD Student Chapter Program includes both undergraduate and graduate students. Membership is designed to accelerate the pre-service development of educators and student teachers and enhance their self-identification as education professionals and leaders.
Dr. Esther Fusco, faculty adviser to the Hofstra chapter of ASCD and associate professor of teaching, literacy and leadership, says this kind of community service is integral to teacher education. “We need to prepare our students for the world they will be working in after they graduate. Programs like this allow them to see the realities of the economic differences in school districts. As future educators it’s important that they know what life is like for all students. Our hope is that our students will want to work or at least spend part of their careers in the communities that are high needs. They have some of these opportunities in our program. Hopefully these experiences enable them to see the real value in community service.”
Graduate student Nicole Facchini, president of Hofstra ASCD for three years, has been involved with the chapter since she was an undergrad. “There are a lot of important reasons to get involved with ASCD and to reach out to schools in need. As educators we want to improve the lives of children. To do this means working to improve the environment they’re growing up in – not just at school but at home.
The Hofstra ASCD chapter has worked with the Long Island Food Harvest and has been fundraising to build a school for girls in Kenya. Students have also has collected thousands of books for schools destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. On May 7, 2013, the chapter presented a check for $1,800 to an East Rockaway elementary school to replace books destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. “Books are our most precious resource in the school,” says Facchini, “so it seemed appropriate to raise money to help restock the school library.” Money was raised through a sale of Hofstra sweatshirts and flash drive bracelets.
Membership in ASCD also gives students important professional development tools. By attending the ASCD annual conference and regional events, the students meet education professionals, participate in professional development programs and develop contacts for internships and future career opportunities. At the University, the chapter runs regular meetings with guest speakers from the education field. These sessions give the students the opportunity to interact with the professional community and learn more about how to be a highly effective educator. Facchini also describes “ignite sessions” where student presenters have five minutes to give a Power-Point presentation on an education-related topic, with only 15 seconds allotted to each slide.
For more information visit the Facebook page for Hofstra’s ASCD chapter. Visit Facebook.com and search for Hofstra University ASCD.
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution of higher education where more than 11,000 full and part-time students choose from undergraduate and graduate offerings in liberal arts and sciences, business, engineering, applied science, communication, education, health sciences and human services, honors studies, the Maurice A. Deane School of Law and the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.