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JUMPSTART PEARSON TEACHER FELLOWS – Southeastern Louisiana University
Jumpstart participants April Thomas of Baton Rouge, second from left, Jenny
Saing of Ponchatoula, center, and Ashleigh Plauche of Ponchatoula, second
from right, are among 38 students nationwide who have been selected as
Pearson Teacher Fellows. In return for special stipends, training and mentoring,
the students will agree to work for two years for Head Start or another
early learning program in Louisiana. Congratulating them are Southeastern
President Randy Moffett, left, and Robert Waldron, right, national coordinator
of the Jumpstart early literacy outreach program.
THREE SOUTHEASTERN JUMPSTART STUDENTS NAMED PEARSON TEACHER FELLOWS
HAMMOND -- Three Southeastern
Louisiana University students who have participated in the university’s
Jumpstart school readiness program have been accepted as Pearson Teacher
Elementary education majors Jenny
Saing and Ashleigh Plauche of Ponchatoula and communication major April
Thomas of Baton Rouge are among 38 students nationwide awarded the fellowships,
which provide stipends, special training and mentoring to Jumpstart corps
members who agree to work for two years for Head Start or another early
Pearson, one of the nation’s
leading education companies, is a corporate partner of Jumpstart, the national
school readiness program. Pearson committed $2.5 million in 2001 to the
Teacher Fellow program.
Saing and Plauche, who graduate
in May, will serve fellows in 2004-2005. Thomas’s fellowship has been granted
for 2005-2006, following her December 2004 graduation from Southeastern.
She and Saing have been Jumpstart corps members for two years, while Plauche
participated in the program in 2001-2002.
“These ladies have worked hard
in the Jumpstart program and are dedicated to staying in the profession
of early childhood education,” said Vaunne Blossman-Hand, coordinator of
Southeastern’ Jumsptart. “I am very proud of the work they have done and
the path they have chosen. Southeastern has done an incredible job in preparing
them, and now Pearson has acknowledged their excellence as well.”
“The fact that three out of the
38 fellows selected are from Southeastern,” she added, “speaks very highly
of our teacher preparation program.
In addition to agreeing to serve
as full-time assistants, teachers, or lead teachers in an early learning
program such as Head Start, the Pearson Teacher Fellows also receive a
stipend to supplement their teaching salary, mentoring from a Pearson professional,
assistance in gaining early childhood teaching credentials, and partial
or full cancellation of some college loans.
Blossman-Hand said that the Southeastern
fellows will undergo eight weeks of training in Boston and will be assisted
by a Pearson placement liaison in obtaining a position with a Louisiana
Head Start or other early learning program.
Now completing its third year,
Southeastern’s Jumpstart program is one of two in Louisiana. Since 2001,
Southeastern students have performed almost 31,000 hours impacting 93 children
at the three partner sites. Each year, approximately 30 students have served
as Jumpstart corps members.
Jumpstart participants become
AmeriCorps members and pledge a minimum of 300 hours of service during
the academic year for a $1,000 education award or 525 hours extending into
the summer for a $1,250 award. In addition to the education award, students
who qualify for federal work-study can earn up to $6.30 an hour while working
in the program.