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Harding University Partnership School Students, Staff to Spend a Day at UCSB

The Harding University Partnership School, which since January 2010 has been partnered with UC Santa Barbara and in particular UCSB’s Gevirtz School, will bring the school — students, teachers and many parents, too — to the UC Santa Barbara campus on Friday, May 15 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

This will be the sixth annual visit for Harding to UCSB. This year’s sixth graders will have been coming to college for every year of their Harding experience. Students ranging from kindergarten through sixth grade will take part in activities aimed specifically for their grade levels and designed to enhance the curriculum they have been studying in their Westside school.

“Although UCSB is not far away in actual miles it can seem very distant from the Harding community,” Acting Dean Merith Cosden of the Gevirtz School says. “By attending UCSB for even just a half day, it makes it seem possible they can return when they are old enough to enter as full-fledged students. This annual visit isn’t just about education, it’s about promise and hope.”

The events during the day include several new programs. Students in Grade 1, for instance, will take part in “Into the Woods: Explorations in Storytelling,” and have a chance to create and share their own story. This activity will be led by Professors Judith Green, Diana Arya, and Andrew Maul, all faculty who study literacy and discourse in the Gevirtz School. Grade 2 students will have the opportunity to visit the Davidson Library and learn about the world through paper and digital maps at the Map & Imagery Laboratory, the largest imagery collection in any academic library in the country. This activity will be led by Librarian Jon Jablonski.

And Grade 4 students, under the direction of Professors Norah Dunbar and Dana Mastro, will tour the Communications Department’s research labs and learn about nonverbal communication, taking part in a demonstration on deception detection.

These new programs include returning programs in which students visit the Robertson Gym, the science education classroom in the Education Building, the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration, and the Research Experience and Education Facility (REEF) at the Marine Science Institute.

The historic Harding School — whose students are nearly 95 percent Hispanic, more than 90 percent economically disadvantaged, and more than 60 percent of its pupils are English Language Learners — has been involved in major changes over the past six years. These efforts were punctuated by the January 2010 announcement of an unprecedented partnership with UC Santa Barbara.

The Harding University Partnership School is a place of joy, excellence, and international focus. Of particular distinction for the neighborhood is the University School’s status as an International Baccalaureate Program, making it the only Santa Barbara elementary school currently pursuing this highly acclaimed approach that emphasizes 21st century skills and international mindedness.

The stellar teaching staff is assisted by graduate level teacher candidates from UCSB providing greater support for students at every grade level with the latest research-based practices. Faculty researchers and UCSB undergraduate tutors partner with teachers to deliver the latest evidence-based instruction.

— George Yatchisin is the communications coordinator for the UCSB Gevirtz School.

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