Making Space for Active Learning Reading

MakingSpaceforActiveLearningThe Institute for Literacy Studies is hosting a book reading of, Making Space for Active Learning. This book is a compilation of teachers’ writings on humane and holistic approaches to teaching in our age of increasing demands on educators. Edited by Anne Martin and Ellen Schwartz, this book features contributions by teachers who have been connected in various ways to the Prospect Center and the Institute on Descriptive Inquiry. Several of the contributors (of whom we are very proud) have been members of the NYC Writing Project, including Louisa Cruz-Acosta, Francesca Weiss, Kiran Chaudhuri and Steve Shreefter.

“These are stories that safeguard and illuminate a vision of classrooms, of children, of teaching as an art—of what can be, of what is possible. Educating children to be makers of works, to be pursuers of learning for its own sake, is what this vision is about.”
— From the Introduction by Patricia F. Carini, co-founder, Prospect School

Please join us in celebrating this remarkable book:
Friday, February 6, 2015
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Music Building, East Dining Room

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Visit

Sixth Graders Program Robots to Apply STEM Principles

Lehman College alumnus and current science teacher, David Schrager, was interviewed in NY1 News about his sixth grade class in Brooklyn taking lessons from robots!David Schrager photo He used cutting edge technology is helping students.

David Schrager was appointed to his teaching position at MS 136 in Brooklyn after graduating from Lehman College with a Masters in Science Education in May of 2014. He feels very fortunate to be teaching in the school, where many of his students are English language learners and have been living in the US for less than one year. While David is very impressed at how hard the students work at learning both English and science, he is faced with his own challenges – trying to learn some Arabic and Chinese in addition to improving Spanish so that he can better serve his students.  David enrolled in Lehman College upon acceptance to the New York City Teaching Residents Program in 2012

STEM Starter Academy to Help At-Risk Youth

By: Gerald D. Dennis, Campaign Director
Mount Vernon Technology & Science Youth Center for Advancement

MV Picture OneToday in the United States, a child’s zip code often determines the quality of education they will receive. Sadly, children from “the wrong zip code”—poor children and children of color like the ones at our STEM camp—don’t get a quality education. The effects of this disparity are far reaching and include higher crime rates, high unemployment rates, and higher levels of poverty. If nothing is done to improve the odds for minority children, the problem won’t be limited to certain zip codes. It will affect our entire nation; many suggest it already has impacted our nations’ competitiveness in the global economy.

MV Picture 2

Lehman College School of Education’s Dr. Sunyata Smith

While we all know that education can drive meaningful change and long-term success, little is being done to improve education in poor urban areas with high populations of minorities. The Mount Vernon Technology & Science Youth Center for Advancement, soon to be re-named the Northeast STEM Starter Academy at Mt. Vernon- NSSA, aims to change that. And last summer’s STEM camp and our recent 6-Saturday coding and entrepreneurship course for 10th and 11th grade girls is just the beginning.

To support our efforts to enrich the learning of our 7th graders attending our summer STEM Camp, we had the privilege of being joined by Lehman College School of Education’s Dr. Sunyata Smith, Doctoral Lecturer, Middle and High School Education Department. Dr. Smith received her B.S. in biology from SUNY Old Westbury College on Long Island and her Master’s and Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx.

Dr. Smith delivered two exciting weeks of our children learning genomics and forensics and the students loved every minute of their experience. Dr. Smith exhibited passion for the subject matter and a superior sense of being able to engage and maintain the undivided attention of every student for the entire two-week period. The impression and learning imparted by this educator resulted an eagerness to learn that will help drive the type of change essential for this group of at-risk young people.