BVU and Storm Lake Schools Collaboration Focuses on Educational Fun


(story by Tim Gallagher)

For the second year in a row, Buena Vista University students are the focus of a summer school program serving the children of the Storm Lake Community School District.

In 2021, some 500 K-12 students in Storm Lake received academic instruction and more as two dozen BVU students worked to help bridge the learning and social gaps that have arisen. produced as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown. BVU students provided Storm Lake Schools Superintendent Dr. Stacey Cole with the educational solution as many teachers in the district sought the summer break to recharge after a tough school year plagued by the pandemic.

This summer, however, the focus has been less on academics and more on social activities and outcomes. Dozens of students showed up at Storm Lake High School and Storm Lake Middle School each day in June to receive guidance on fundamentals and fun when it comes to activities such as basketball, golf, football , football, volleyball and much more.

Again, students from the BVU School of Education help lead the activities. The opportunity for a quality summer job pairs well with the experience prospective teachers gain in “classroom” spaces such as the gymnasium, weight room, soccer field, etc.

“We’ve spent June focusing on getting kids to see school as a place where they can enjoy activities of all kinds while building friendships, bonding with instructors, and learning. fun in a great environment,” says Cole. “Even though we are moving away from the pandemic every day, we are seeing residual effects in children that impact their educational and physiological growth. Having children in a less regimented school setting, dedicated to their enjoyment and well-being, is what we were looking for this summer.

BVU students such as Emily Newton and Brandon Foster have teamed up with teachers and coaches from the Storm Lake Community School District to deliver the 2022 edition of the summer school.

“It’s been a rewarding experience,” says Foster, a business education graduate and BVU football player and wrestler from Waycross, Georgia. “I do football drills with students every morning at the training ground. The most important thing for me to remember is to make it fun, especially at this age.

BVU basketball player Emily Newton, a Diagonal Elementary Education major, taught reading to first graders as part of the summer school program in 2021. This summer, she mentors students at Storm Lake Middle School through basketball fundamentals before supervising games each afternoon.

“Some students don’t have basketball experience, so it was fun to watch them grow up,” Newton says. “It was also educational for me, helping me think about the basics. The experience will help me plan and manage my time one day for my class. It will also help me to work with students with different needs and interests.

Foster will teach at Sioux Central High School and Storm Lake High School in the fall. Newton’s student teaches during the winter and spring of 2023.

As a bonus, students teaching at the Summer School were allowed to reside in the BVU suites for free, thanks to a generous benefactor and BVU value-added funding that provided the means for their residential stay on campus. in addition to food costs. A similar effort led by benefactors also provided the benefit a year ago.

“Having a paid room on campus is awesome, as is the help BVU provides with groceries,” says Newton, who also spends a few hours working for BVU admissions. “I can teach, I can coach and I can still be a BVU student helping with admissions this summer.”

It was another win-win effort between Storm Lake Community Schools and BVU, Cole’s alma mater.

“Collaborating with BVU students who team up with our teaching staff to organize activities for this year’s summer school program was exactly what was needed to keep our students healthy and thinking about the future. school as a place where they connect with friends in very constructive and enjoyable activities,” she says.


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