Gear Up teachers prepare for their tour of Italy.
Front Row (R-L)-Bobbi Conway, Debra Wyman, and Amy Moore
Back Row (R-L)- Shelia Bennett, Donna Knotts, Arlene Iaquinta, Heather Horne Holbert, Misty Dawn Thomas Skarzinski, and Dan Phillips
GEAR UP, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a federally-funded grant designed to:
Demonstrate the importance of education in today's world. Encourage all middle & high school students to set high educational and career goals. Help students learn how to prepare, enter, and succeed in college, or other post-secondary training. Provide parents with the information and resources they need to stay involved in their students' education and to help them lay out plans for the future. Provide teachers with the tools and training needed to raise both academic expectations and student achievement in the classroom.
The 9 teachers selected for this section of the Roads to Appalachia through Italy are:
Sheila Kay Bennett- Robert Bland Middle School, Lewis County
Barbara Conway- Mannington Middle, Marion County
Heather Horne Holbert- WI Middle, Harrison County
Marry Arlene Iaquinta- WI Middle, Harrison County
Donna Marie Knotts- Pickens School, Randolph County
Amy Renae Moore- Tucker County Middle School
Charles D. Phillips- Westwood Middle, Monongalia County
Misty Skarzinski- Rivesville Middle, Marion County
Debra M. Wyman- Robert Bland Middle School, Lewis County
Each teacher will be expected to constantly use the experiences of this intense study abroad time to heighten his/her own historical understandings, to seek out specific information in order to formulate curricular application to his/her classroom based on these understandings, secure teaching aids (maps, books, photographs, artifacts, etc.), make contacts to be continued through internet connects that will be primary resources for student and teacher (this could be used to create cultural comparisons, exchanges, “pen pals”, or any first hand learning), and much more. An open dialogue will be maintained and emphasized throughout the travel experience between teachers, directors, scholars, museum personnel, tour guides, and most importantly the general populations that we will be encountering. All participants will be expected to keep a daily detailed travel journal and portfolios of pertinent travel and cultural memorabilia which will become the basis for future curriculum and research projects. (A rubric guide for journal and portfolio development will be distributed and discussed as part of the pre-travel meeting.)
Teachers will also be expected to prepare their materials for publication, such as in Traditions, Hillchild, or GEARUP Teacher’s Resource Guide.
Follow Up Gatherings
As in previous Teacher Study Abroad Programs, a general, wrap-up session will be held in the fall, allowing the participants to further exchange working educational ideas. At this meeting, teachers will present a curriculum prospectus that will contain the teaching unit goals and objectives, procedures, content, assessment plan, and resources. This presentation will be made by PowerPoint and shared with the entire teacher group. A one to two page overview of your curriculum project should be shared with each participant.
The participants will share their created units, programs, their writings, and other activities with a wider audience of educators and folklore enthusiasts by being published in Traditions and Hillchild as well as other regional journals. Participants will be encouraged to create, document, and share their various programs, projects, and folkloric/cultural ideas with the wider West Virginia educational audience.