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Stories this week at Wake Forest University

April 28, 2010

TEACHING WITH THEATRE: WAKE FOREST STUDENTS TO HOST CINCO DE MAYO CARNIVAL AT DIGGS ELEMENTARY — On Wednesdays this semester, Brook Davis’ theatre education class has been traveling to Diggs and Latham Elementary Schools to work in classrooms with students in kindergarten through fifth grade.Following curriculum guidelines provided by the classroom teachers, the Wake Forest students have designed and implemented a variety of lesson plans using theatre as a teaching tool. From staging a Mad Hatter Tea Party and using Peter Pan characters to teach math to dramatizing stops on The Underground Railroad, the theatre/education teams have worked directly with children in the classrooms at Diggs for a 40-minute block each week. They will be in classrooms from 12:35 to 1:15 p.m.on Wednesday, April 28. Wake Forest students will present a Cinco de Mayo carnival May 5 at Diggs from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Latham Elementary school’s entire study body will be bused to Diggs Elementary school that day.  The eight classes of elementary students all have parts in a theatre production based on the book Cinco de Mouse-O and there will be relay games, snacks, face-painting, and visits from student athletes and the Demon Deacon mascot. Diggs and Latham Elementary schools are Equity Plus schools with at least 75 percent of their students on free or reduced lunch. Next year, the schools will merge to create Diggs-Latham Elementary School.


PHOTOS AND SELF-ESTEEM, A STUDY OF ORPHANED GIRLS IN KENYA—What is it like to see the world through another’s eyes? Senior Janelle Summerville, a psychology major from Stafford, Va., knows. She conducted research in Kimende, Kenya, to better understand the self-esteem and social issues facing orphaned girls using what she calls a “participatory photovoice project.” Summerville incorporated the arts in her research by giving the girls in the orphanage a way to capture important moments from their daily lives. The children, who had never before used cameras, took pictures of people and activities they considered to be central to their concept of self. “As a result of my research, I found that self-esteem in a Kenyan context does not really exist as a concept the way that we use it in the U.S. Children there aren’t encouraged to value themselves as individuals,” Summerville says. After her trip, Summerville mobilized Wake Forest students to organize a charity event, raising funds for Kenya Kids Can, a service organization that combats poverty and sub-par educational resources in Kenya. Her efforts helped raise over $9,000 for the organization.  She has been awarded a full tuition scholarship and living stipend for a five-year program at the University of Virginia where she will pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology in the fall.

STUDENT DEVELOPS CURRICULUM TO TEACH FRENCH LANGUAGE TO MISSIONARIES—Rebekah Bray taught French for two years in a Washington, D.C., charter school before entering the masters in education program for foreign language. Now that she’s completed her graduate degree, she’s planning to travel to Bouaké, Côte d'Ivoire, for mission work. Using a curriculum she designed based on thematic units, such as making purchases in the market and communicating maladies to a doctor, she hopes, within a short period of time, to prepare the missionary team to live and work comfortably with the people of Bouaké. “I am traveling there to teach because we need to teach within the cultural context. I need to learn the nuances of the Bouaké area and we need to practice language there so that we really understand what it is like. This concept is unique, but I think it is the best option—one that will help us become more proficient in life skills faster.” says Bray. After her mission work in Africa, Bray intends to return to the U.S. and teach French at the high school level in Washington, D.C. Bray is available for interviews through Thursday noon.

AMERICAN EXPRESS CEO TO DELIVER WAKE FOREST’S COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS—Kenneth I. Chenault, the chairman and chief executive officer of American Express Company, will deliver Wake Forest’s 2010 commencement address on May 17.  The commencement ceremony will begin at
9 a.m. on Hearn Plaza. The ceremony is reserved for graduates and their guests and is not open to the general public, but media is invited to cover. “Mr. Chenault’s leadership and management values sync well with Wake Forest. He has said that ‘a good education is about more than academics – it’s also about learning values and principles,’” said Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch.

Press Contacts:

Cheryl Walker
(336) 758-5237

Ellen Sterner Sedeno
(214) 546-8893

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