The West Side of Buffalo offers teacher candidates a positive outreach into the international community and insights into our global world!
Under the tutelage of Buffalo State faculty and staff, service learning initiatives have been available for many years in the West Side Community. Mary C. Cummings, lecturer in the Department of Elementary Education and Reading, has been responsible for many of these outreach programs and initiatives, working with refugees across the city.
The Volunteer and Service-Learning Center (VSLC) leads efforts to integrate service with learning across campus while working to improve the success of local agencies and schools in meeting the needs of community residents. VSLC assists faculty who choose to incorporate a community-based learning project into a course to provide students with hands-on opportunities to learn course content while engaging with local groups in order to create long-term, meaningful partnerships with community agencies through service-learning, volunteering and other experiential opportunities for students.
We are proud of the many teacher education faculty, staff and students who participated in the 2021 Bengals Day to Care on September 25.
Bengals Day to Care was designed by President Katherine Conway-Turner as a way for Buffalo State to show its commitment to social justice, equity, and inclusion through activities that build community and partnerships. Together with local organizations, the Buffalo State Civic and Community Engagement (CEC) office coordinates an annual morning of volunteer service projects in Buffalo. Teacher Education faculty work alongside their students at various project sites.
2021 volunteers, led by Nanci Monaco, associate professor of Elementary Education, Literacy, and Education Leadership, weeded, raked leaves, organized a food pantry, and cleaned windows. They also organized a client clothing store at PATH Inc. (People Against Trafficking Humans), located at Delaware Avenue and Utica Street, where staff shared ways their organization works to end human exploitation through education, prevention, and restoration.
Members of the Buffalo State Future Teachers Club (FTC), led by Jen Reichenberg, assistant professor of Elementary Education, Literacy, and Education Leadership, volunteered at Explore and More Children’s Museum at its new location near Canalside. They assembled materials for a variety of upcoming fall children’s and family programs at the museum. Participants were treated to a tour of the museum and the opportunity to interact with some of the exhibits, including working together to use pedal-power to ignite a light display. FTC members included Emily Dauer, Sarah Dauer, Sofia Fanizzi, Jennifer Flick, Malina Lancaster, Miranda Makey, Abigail Marino, Sierra Pyle, and Cassie Thurn.
Students from EDU 310, accompanied by a student from Music Education and Crystal Elias, volunteered for the None Like You/We Care organization. They were assigned to a home on Clinton Street for yard clean up and were able to hear about the revitalization plans for the neighborhood.
Participants of the Undergraduate Teacher Diversity Pipeline Program, led by Sandra Copeland-Washington, lecturer of Elementary Education, Literacy, and Education Leadership, collaborated at the Ukrainian-American Civic Center to assist with yardwork and cleaning up garbage strewn outside the venue and surrounding area. They also helped decorate for an upcoming event, to which Center staff invited them.
“Our team worked very hard and had a lot of fun,” said Copeland-Washington, “It was a great experience and our teacher candidates did a great job representing the School of Education!”
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