The on-going project with the NativityMiguel Middle School is a collaboration between the Canisius College Graduate Literacy Program, the NativityMiguel Middle School, Canisius College Service-Learning students, and Canisius College faculty and staff. The NativityMiguel Middle School is one of three Jesuit apostolates in Western New York—thus our strong commitment to collaborating with it.
For this project, NativityMiguel students are transported to the Literacy Center at Canisius College once a week, after regular school hours. While on campus, these students have the opportunity to develop skills in traditional literacy processes (reading, writing, speaking and listening). They are taught and mentored at the Literacy Center under the direct supervision of Mary Shea, PhD, professor, graduate education and leadership; Rosemary Murray, PhD, associate professor, chair, graduate education and leadership; and Virginia Carver, administrative associate, graduate education and leadership. The lead teacher, Cassandra Cimasi, is a graduate of the Canisius College Graduate Literacy Program. Diane Attalah, a graduate assistant, and several service-learning tutors provide one-on-one support.
The NativityMiguel middle school students also have the opportunity to explore Canisius with the hope that they will aspire to attaining a college education, ideally at Canisius College. Finally, the experiences develop students’ self-confidence as successful learners who have an important voice in their schools and communities.
Submitted by: Sara Morris, associate vice president, academic affairs