The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and its affiliate, The Partnership, Inc., on Monday, May 13 honored the 2019 Superstars in Education award winners at the Wilmington University’s Doberstein Admissions Center Auditorium.
“This year we recognize three programs that aren’t just working well, but that are meeting critical needs while producing exciting results. The Superstars in Education Award is to give them the appreciation they deserve,” said Michael Quaranta, president of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce.
The State Chamber also honored Bebe Coker, longtime community activist, with the John H. Taylor Jr Education Leadership award for her efforts to improve education and education equality throughout Delaware.
“From her civil rights activism to her leadership in education, Bebe is a true champion of excellence and equity. Like John Taylor, she is someone I rely on to tell me the way it is, the unvarnished truth,” said Dr. Paul Herdman, president and CEO of Rodel.
Rick Deadwyler of Corteva also made a surprise donation of $10,000 to the Blades Elementary School Latino Family Literacy Project. The grant, normally awarded to STEM-related programs, found the program to be especially meaningful and valuable in building a better educational community that serves all Delawareans through engaging families in the learning process and building cultural connections.
The 2019 Superstars in Education winning programs:
Latino Family Literacy Project (LFLP)
Blades Elementary School, Seaford School District
The Latino Family Literacy Project (LFLP) supports culturally responsive teaching practices and additive bilingualism by developing family reading routines. It builds community and cultural exchange among Latino families and bridges connections between home and school. There are three components to the program: literacy, connections, and community, that focus on the value and benefit of family reading routines, regardless of language. Bilingual texts are shared each week with families through a lending library system. Trained educators work with adult family members, creating a shared family experience during which both parents and school age children learn English vocabulary together.
Springer Middle School, Brandywine School District
The BARK Builders program was created to develop critical leadership skills among middle school students already exhibiting an interest in leadership, like those in student government, student ambassadors, and other leadership clubs. The student applicants are selected based on those who demonstrate academic achievement, the ability to work with others, a positive attitude, and the ability to become a spokesperson for their peers. They are examples of the SMS principles that are encouraged from every student. B.A.R.K is an acronym for: Best effort, Academic achievement, Responsible actions, and Kind gestures.
Wizards of Words: “Book Bling” Program
Woodbridge Early Childhood Education Center, Woodbridge School District
Woodbridge ECEC and its WOW (Wizards of Words) Team developed the “Book Bling” program to encourage reading both in and out of school. Students earn charms that they can wear on a necklace at school. For every 10 books/chapters read, a ticket is completed and can then be redeemed for a charm. Book Bling tickets are verified by the student’s ability to verbally summarize or answer questions about what they have read. Students are entered into additional prize drawings with each ticket completed.