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New Social Justice Teaching Corp

York Scholars are building bridges to knowledge and educational access.

York College’s Department of Teacher Education has launched a “Social Justice Teaching Corps Scholars” initiative, with support from a grant from the New York State Education Department (NYSED). The impetus for the program originates from "the need to create more access to educational opportunities that broaden students’ experiences and deepen their knowledge,” said Dr. Leslie Keiler, Professor and Chair of the Teacher Education Department. “This is especially important in moving toward greater educational equity,” she added.

To kick off the program, 13 inaugural Scholars began developing their curricula and building their teaching skills at the Department’s first Social Justice Summer Camp, which drew students from 3rd to 8th grade from the NYC and Long Island School districts.

The sessions, taught by the York Scholars, focused on social justice in STEM, the Arts, and in Health and Phys Ed. Each group was led by a certified teacher who mentored the Scholars as they learned to teach for social Justice in their disciplines. The STEM sessions occurred in the Department of Teacher Education's new Maker Space that was funded by a grant from CUNY Central.

"At York, we pride ourselves in giving our teacher education students opportunities to fully engulf themselves in their future career,” said Lisa Dunn-Lockhart, Director of the Social Justice Camp. “Our students become great teachers because they not only learn standards –  they learn how to level the playing field so that all of their future students win. They will use what they learned this summer for years to come."

The Scholars, all of whom plan to graduate this year, will implement what they learned in their upcoming fieldwork and student teaching sites and then in their own future classrooms. Learn more about pursuing earning a degree in teaching at York College.