In January, the OCE sponsored a visit from nationally-recognized education reform advocate Nicole Baker Fulgham. She is the president and founder of The Expectations Project and author of Educating All God’s Children: What Christians Can—and Should— Do to Improve Public Education for Low-Income Kids. She spoke in Chapel on educational equity, hosted a campus-wide “coffeehouse” discussion, and dedicated special time to working with the OCE’s College Bound program.
Last year, Gordon started a new partnership with SOAR, a specially designed transition program for students aged 18 to 22 with Asperger’s Syndrome, anxiety disorders and related diagnoses. The goal of the program is to assist students in transitioning to college and the world of work and to support students in becoming confident contributing members of society. The SOAR program is now located on Gordon’s campus in Wenham and in the OCE office in Lynn. The SOAR students have been welcomed warmly by students and staff.
Another of Kaye Cook’s psychology classes was hosted by the women of the Iraqi Arab Association in Lynn for English language conversation. The students also hosted the women at Gordon for tea and conversation. The opportunity concluded with an Iraqi meal at one of the woman’s homes.
To learn about recreational programing, one of Val Gin’s recreation and leisure classes worked with Bridgewell, a Lynn non-profit serving people with disabilities, to create a dance video starring both the Bridgewell clients and Gordon students. A premiere screening for Bridgewell clients and others took place at the Barrington Cinema.
This year, College Bound focused on making reading fun for the kids. Each age group focused on a different book or set of reading materials, which they worked their way through as a large group. The K-2nd graders read The BFG by Roald Dahl and the 3rd to 5th graders read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. Students in Dr. Priscilla Nelson’s class Teaching Reading also tested each child with the DAR assessment for reading to identify each student's reading grade level and specific areas for improvement. The education students developed a customized recommendation for each child, including games and books that would be helpful for them.
The middle school College Bound program made great strides in the spring semester by adding homework help to their weekly program.