College and Public Schools Showcase 'Maymester' Project

ALBION, Mich. — Albion Public Schools and Albion College finish the academic year on a high note, with their second Maymester “Showcase of Learning," open to the public Thursday, May 29, The celebration takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Albion College Science Complex Atrium, located near the corner of East Michigan Avenue and Hannah Street.

The 2008 "Showcase of Learning" features presentations and exhibits on "Environment and Civic Engagement," a theme chosen because it "would be relevant, would cover K-12 academics and would be interdisciplinary," explained Mae Ola Dunklin, a former APS principal and current director of the Albion College Shurmur Education Institute. "We thought this would be an exciting theme for students from preschool to high school."

"Being a part of the Maymester experience and being in the classroom has been almost more valuable to me than my college classes," said Albion College student Caitlin Richards, who is helping Barb Buller's second grade class make litter collages, reusable grocery bags and recycled-paper stationery. "In the classroom, it's easier to figure out that you can take one issue, like reducing consumption, and there's so much to talk about – you find the students' prior knowledge and what they're interested in, and go from there."

Maymester is a unique program developed jointly by Albion College's Fritz Shurmur Education Institute/teacher education faculty, education students and APS teachers. Each Maymester team spends several months developing a themed study unit that is added to the spring curriculum. Albion College education students spend the spring semester working with APS mentor teachers on the Maymester projects, and are in the classroom full-time after Albion College dismissal in early May.

"Maymester gives our students a classroom immersion experience, before they go do their student teaching the next year," said Education department chair Suellyn Henke. "Also, the Albion teachers and students get to do something they couldn’t do without the college students’ help."

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Henke at 517/629-0585 or .