American Graduate Day

Early Education

This American Graduate Day interview features Jeana Ross, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Children’s Affairs and Calvin Moore Director of Child Care Services for Alabama DHR. They discuss the importance of education for infants and toddlers. Calvin Moore informs us about the Alabama Quality Stars program, a quality rating and improvement system created to help motivate child caregivers, daycare providers, and stay-at-home parents to improve early education methods. Jeana Ross discusses funding for early interventions for home visitation to make sure children are ready for school. If they are not ready, they may not be reading by 3rd grade, which makes them four times more likely to trop out of school in the future.

STEAM Education

On American Graduate Day we learned about STEAM Education from PBS LeanringMedia Digital Innovators Mark Coleman of Booker T. Washington Magnet High School and Holly Whit, librarian at Walnut Grove Elementary School in Madison County. STEAM Education encompasses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math. It expands on the usual STEM by incorporating the Arts – the creative process behind advancements in technology, science, engineering and math. Holly supports the Maker Movement, which is a movement tied in with STEAM to encourage students to create using their current knowledge, resources available and mentoring. These students have access to library resources, computers, craft supplies and even 3-d printing to express an idea or experiment.

Career Readiness & College Completion

In this American Graduate Day feature we learn from Stephen Cockrell, director of Woodlawn Foundation and Rosalyn Valentine, Technical Assistance Coach for EdWorks, a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks. Stephen works with the Woodlawn Foundation, a program in which high school students are given the tools to earn up to 2 years college credit by the time they receive their high school degree. Stephen also works with the Woodlawn Innovation Network to transform teaching and learning for all schools in the Woodlawn area in Birmingham, Alabama with STEAM curriculum which is more hands on, problem based learning. Rosalyn has been working in partnership with A Plus Program and Win Innovation Network Program to improve opportunities for Birmingham City school students. The focus is an educational system where all students are expected to have 20 college credits by the time they graduate high school. University of Alabama & Lawson State partnered so that students may preview the college campus environment.

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