NEWS

Veronika Vernachio of KGUN 9 visited Worlds of Words to talk about the WOW Teen Reading Ambassadors pilot program that offers high school students a college experience at The University of Arizona. Vernachio spoke with WOW Associate Director Rebecca Ballenger and local high school student Gregory Medina-Kenyon about the program.

Luis Carlos Davis, an alum of the college's language, reading, and culture doctoral program, was featured in a Fronteras Desk piece about a filmmaking workshop he led in Douglas, Arizona and Agua Prieta, Sonora in October. The workshop was part of "Cine En La Frontera" or "Cinema On The Border,” a short film contest for student and emerging filmmakers from both Arizona and Sonora.

Congratulations to two-time College of Education graduate Lane Santa Cruz on winning the Ward 1 Tucson City Council seat! Santa Cruz graduated from the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies with her Language, Reading & Culture, M.A., in 2011 and her Language, Reading & Culture, Ph.D., in 2016. A native Tucsonan, educator, and community organizer at her core, Lane spent the 12 years prior to taking office working on issues related to sexual/gender violence, food justice, migrant rights, DIY bicycle mechanics, and Ethnic Studies.

The College of Education and TUSD formed a partnership to create Each One, Teach One – a program that seeks to bring more teachers of color into the field. Learn more in this KOLD feature.

The Sunnyside Unified School District and University of Arizona College of Education have created a pathway for people affiliated with the Sunnyside District to enter the teaching profession via a 17-month, fast-track degree program, Pathways to Teaching. Upon completion, Pathways participants earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with a K-8 teaching certificate and English as a Second Language Endorsement. The first cohort starts in January 2020.

As Arizona students head back to class in August, so too will a group of about 50 middle and high school teachers who spent the summer working in industry as part of the University of Arizona College of Education Teachers in Industry program. The business-education partnership is in its 11th year of placing experienced teachers in Arizona industries each summer. 

Ben Anderson, a high school calculus teacher, has participated in the Teachers in Industry program for two summers, working at Oro Valley-based Simpleview, a software and web development company focused on destination tourism. He says his experience doing data analysis at Simpleview has exposed him to many of the soft skills needed to work in industry, which he can in turn pass along to his students. "What I think is really important for my students to learn is what does it mean to be an employee at an up-and-coming tech company or a prominent tech company? What are the perks of those types of jobs; what are the expectations of you?" said Anderson, who previously taught at Marana High School and will start a new position at Ironwood Ridge High School this year. "So, I talk about soft skills. It's critical to be able to work in a group, and it's critical to be able to share information."

Teachers in Industry aims to prepare middle and high school students for future careers in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fields. "Teachers have an extra tool in their toolbox to really say (to students) why math is important, why they're learning physics and how that can relate to the careers of the future, particularly in the areas of STEM," said Javier Lopez, director of the Teachers in Industry program.

This text is extracted from UA News, written by Alexis Blue. Read the full story here.

Forbes Magazine recognizes UA as one of the best employers in Arizona. Employees like Rebecca Ballenger have something to do with it. Ballenger, Associate Director for Worlds of Words, inspires creativity and deep thought in her approach with students and interns. She goes beyond that by building relevant experiences for local school groups visiting the world-renowned international literature collection, as well as hosting workshops for fellow employees.

Assistant Professor Leah Durán is the recipient of the 2019 Urquides Laureate Award for her outstanding contributions in bilingual education on behalf of children. Experience teaching elementary school in bilingual and ESL classrooms in Texas drove Durán’s research to explore the relationship between language, literacy, and young children’s learning, with a focus on bilingual Latina/o children.

As an expert in youth literature, professor Kathy Short has held a passion for books since she was a child. Worlds of Words, the country's largest collection of global children's books, has grown from that passion and Short’s desire to connect children and books.

Worlds of Words is a feature of the children/teen section at the Tucson Festival of Books. The WOW booth at the festival promotes global understandings through children’s literature and invites community members to visit the collection to expand their knowledge on global perspectives. In order to connect with the community at the festival, Worlds of Words intern, Lacy Nehls and her team engaged patrons in a space theme, Take One Giant Leap by incorporating books from the collection and directing a hands-on activity.