Art of Teaching Graduate Program Receives $103,000 Grant to Train Teachers Who Understand the Challenges At-Risk Children Face

The best way to train teachers to understand the challenges that face inner-city children placed at risk, is to have teachers who come from those communities.

That’s the thinking behind Sarah Lawrence College’s Art of Teaching Graduate Program, which has just received a five-year grant from New York State’s Teacher Opportunity Corps to help expand its work in Yonkers Public Schools. The grant was announced by the State Education Department on Monday.

“This Teacher Opportunity Corps initiative is a natural extension of the relationship Sarah Lawrence College already has with the community of Yonkers,’’ said Kathleen Ruen, Acting Director of the Art of Teaching Program. “The grant offers us vital support and helps us to expand the work we are doing to prepare our students to teach in disadvantaged communities, as well as to recruit students from minority backgrounds and help them become teachers.’’

Under the grant, which comes from the state’s Department of Education, the Art of Teaching program will receive $103,334 in 2017 and up to $659,000 over five years. The money will be used to fund the tuition and transportation costs of the program’s pre-service teachers, support the teaching of an additional course addressing the needs of children placed at risk, and help develop certificate programs in Special Education and Bilingual Education. In addition, the grant will create a teacher mentoring program in partnership with Yonkers’ Cedar Place Elementary School, a pre-K through 8th grade magnet school whose student body is 96 percent minority and 76 percent of their families have incomes at or near the poverty line.

Sarah Lawrence’s program was one of 56 across the state that received a total of $10 million as part of two New York State My Brother’s Keeper Initiatives: the Teacher Opportunity Corps II (TOC) and the MBK Challenge Grant Program.

About the Art of Teaching Graduate Program

The Art of Teaching is a child-centered (birth through 6th grade), culturally sensitive, interdisciplinary teacher education program centered on observation of children. The program gives students a solid, philosophical background in current thinking about educational theory and practice. Students work with children at every point in the program.

About Sarah Lawrence College

Founded in 1926, Sarah Lawrence is a prestigious, coeducational liberal arts college that consistently ranks among the leading liberal arts colleges in the country. Sarah Lawrence is known for its pioneering approach to education, rich history of impassioned intellectual and civic engagement, and vibrant, successful alumni. In close proximity to the unparalleled offerings of New York City, the historic campus is home to an intellectually curious and diverse community.