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Local Teachers Recognize Smith's Outreach

For its efforts working with the educational community, Smith College was recently awarded the Friend of Education Award from the Northampton Teachers Association (NTA), an annual honor presented during the association’s annual meeting.

With the assistance and leadership of the Office of Educational Outreach, which opened five years ago, Smith has developed numerous connections with the local educational community.

“Smith College in recent years has truly become an integral part of Northampton’s public schools with the programs they offer students and staff,” said Sharon Carlson, president of the NTA, in presenting the award on Oct. 20. “For educators, they have provided professional development and time to collaborate with colleagues. For students, they have developed initiatives that have been an invaluable asset to our schools.”

Smith coordinates more than 30 educational programs for elementary, middle and high schools students, and for teachers and administrators in the region.

The Department of Education and Child Study trains students who serve in internships in Northampton’s public schools. Interns from the School for Social Work assist educators in enhancing school climate and developing communication. The Peer Outreach Program (POP) in Women and Financial Independence trains students to lead workshops in area middle and high schools on budgeting, investing, and managing credit cards. The Museum of Art and Botanic Garden welcome students in numerous workshops and field trips. Local students enroll in college courses in the Smith-Northampton Summer School and the summer Science and Engineering Program at Smith. Educators participate in the Summer Institutes for Educators at Smith, the Engineering Education Partnership, and Museum of Art programs.

Gail Scordilis, director of educational outreach at Smith, says that working in partnership with the Northampton public schools is a privilege for the Smith faculty, students and staff from across the campus. "Our colleagues in the local schools welcome us into their classrooms and laboratories, and we invite them to share in the resources on our campus," she said. "Increasingly, we are having collaborative discussions about our shared research and teaching interests and the resulting efforts are enhancing learning at Smith and in the local schools. It is a wonderful partnership and we are very grateful to the Northampton Teachers Association for honoring these efforts with the Friend of Education Award."

The Friend of Education Award will be on display in the Office of Educational Outreach, located in Clark Hall. “Presented to Smith College with appreciation and thanks for the work you do with the Northampton Public School System,” says the award inscription.

For more information about Smith's outreach efforts, visit

10/23/06   By Eric Sean Weld
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