Wescolite (Dillon, Mont) 1949-2009, November 03, 2004, Image 5

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The Wescolite Student Newspaper Campus News November 3, 2004 Curious Minds: Positive Assett By Sandy Bradford ■ Curious Minds Care and Educational Center is UM -W estern’s campus based developmental child care program serving children ages three through eight and their families. The center has beenious in operation for twenty-five years, with Julie Bullard serving as it’s director for the last fifteen. Curious Minds has received the high­ est level of accreditation from the NAEYC (National Association of Edu­ cation of Young Children). This puts Curious Minds in the top one percent group statewide, and seven percent nation wide. This is a prestigeous recognition, and congratulations were bestowed upon Debbie Hansen, Curious Minds on-site director, and Becky Carr, lead teacher, “for their success in Curious Mind’s continuing accredita­ tion.” They have also received the ‘Star Quality’ child care title of recognition. Bullard explains how the concept for the center began: “Many students were in need of child care for their children. A center would serve the needs of students and faculty alike. So it was the students who really advocated for it.” Cur Minds is open to children of the greater community of Dillon, but traditionally, when space becomes available, children of students and faculty are considered a priority. What makes Curious Minds so special? It focuses on meeting each child’s unique interests and needs, and increases their ability to learn by getting them involved in every aspect of a subject. Over the summer, the children learned about bugs. The project involved, math, writing, creating charts and graphs, drawing and field trips. According to Bullard, in this type of project, “the kids are inspired to learn the different curricu­ lum in order to be able to show and repre­ sent what they like. They put a lot of time into it. Upon the project’s comple­ tion, we had a culminating event. Par­ ents were invited, food was served, and the kids told about what they’d learned.\ The children are taught through positive discipline techniques, positive child-adult interactions, and are encour­ aged to succeed in the different learning areas in order to build self esteem. And when problems arise, the kids go to the ‘Peace Table.’ The Peace Table is situated in a corner of the room. Hand puppets with facial expressions showing various emotions are used to encourage the kids to communicate how they feel. A book titled, “My Choices”, shows pictures of the various choices the child can make instead of resorting to violent behavior. The “I Care” rules are posted on the wall to help them remember how to be caring towards one another. Becky Carr, the lead teacher, has plans in the future to extend the Peace Table to include a work­ Live From Liverpool: Student Reflects on Studies Abroad By Estelle Hill Estelle Hill has re­ cently returned from an opportunity of a lifetime. She attended a three week Studies Abroad class entitled “Black Roots” at the Uni­ versity of Liverpool in Liverpool, En­ gland. “I never expected to be able to do something like this as a non-traditional student.” Estelle said. “After all I am 42 years old, married, with two children, one in college and one in high school.” Estelle became aware of this oppor­ tunity through the EOP (Educational Opportunity Program) office here at the University of Montana-Western. Her ad­ visor, Chris Royer, asked if she would be interested in a studies abroad experi­ ence. “I enthusiastically said yes and then began to second guess my choice when the actual logistics had to be worked out. Fortunately for me, Chris kept me on track and handled the major issue of fund raising. Without her sup­ port there is no way I would have been able to work everything out.” .The EOP. department^ is. a .student. support service for students who are first generation college students, low income, and/or have a disability. Estelle is a Dillon gal, third generation native to Beaverhead County. She attended 1st- 8th grades at Reichle School, all eight grades in one room with one teacher. The selection process was very rigor­ ous. Twenty-three students from across the US were chosen. They joined a group from the University of Connecticut, and eight students from Liverpool compris­ ing total enrollment of forty-one. The class content was comprised of lectures by faculty, community activists and volunteers. They addressed the affects of immigration on the develop­ ment of the character and composition of Liverpool both past and present. Irish Immigration, colonial immigration, sailor immigration, and immigration from continental Europe to the port prepara­ tory to emigration to colonies, were all addressed. The students also learned about health care issues, education, com­ munity integration, and labor issues . confronting .the ethnically .diverge population of Liverpool. The students were divided into groups of five students and assigned a group paper and presentation based on an area of their choice. The coordinators of the studies abroad program stated this years presentations were the highest caliber they had seen. Upon return to the US, students had to write an individual paper on a chosen area. The students earned three US cred­ its through this program. The students visited the Trans-At­ lantic Slave Trade Museum at the Albert Docks in Liverpool. “It is constructed with very low ceilings, narrow twisting hallways, and is very dimly lit. This was done to replicate the close confines of the actual slave ships and gives the viewers a simulated physical experience.” Estelle recalled. “We also went on a walking tour of the Albert Dock area. The gentleman who was our guide was a self-educated black man, Erik Lynch. He taught us how to “read” the architecture. So much .informatim js.car.v.ejd. .onto, those shop for parents. Curious Minds is also a training site for the UM-Western students who are working towards Bachelors of Science Degrees in Early Childhood Education. Julie Bullard, Curious Minds Director Photo by Sandy Bradford buildings. In the doorway of one bank, in bas relief, were two small slave children with shackles and chains bearing the globe upon their shoulders, indicating recognition of the slave trade to the amassing of wealth by the bank founders.” Estelle just shook her head in amazement. “We spent one week-end in Ireland, visiting Kilmainham Prison, Castle Trim (where Braveheart was filmed), and got to see the murals in Belfast commemorating the Irish Resistance movement.” The next weekend was spent in Amsterdam, where everyone received a definite cultural experience. “I am sure we all checked out the ‘red light district’.” Estelle said with a roughish twinkle in her eye. Estelle will be giving a presentation open to the campus and community on November 18, at 7:00 pm in the Great Room of the Swysgood Technology Building.

Wescolite (Dillon, Mont), 03 Nov. 2004, located at <http://montananewspapers.org/lccn/Wescolite/2004-11-03/ed-1/seq-5/>, image provided by MONTANA NEWSPAPERS, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.