AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn University’s College of Education will launch a new distance education program this summer that will connect Auburn faculty and preservice teachers with elementary-aged students.

The program, called Home Works, is designed to provide online academics to students in the subjects of science, social studies, math, language arts, reading and technology. The program comes amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to help build partnerships between parents, guardians and educators while campuses remain closed throughout the nation.

“Parents everywhere are dealing with a lot of stress,” said Martina McGhee, assistant clinical professor in Auburn University’s College of Education. “And oftentimes, our children perceive and internalize this stress as well. Home Works will give parents—and their children—one less thing to worry about.”

Traditionally, Auburn’s preservice teachers work with their College of Education professors to host a series of summer camps and enrichment programs for early childhoodelementary and high school students. Since these students are unable to come to campus, Auburn is bringing the excitement of learning to them via the Home Works program.

Home Works will be activated and available starting July 1, but the College of Education is asking for online donations now through May 18 via its website to kickstart the program.

Auburn’s education students will create and teach the Home Works modules in simple, flexible lesson plans with accompanying videos for instruction. While delivering these educational modules, Auburn’s students will gain the teaching and curriculum development experience they need to reach their educational goals.

Home Works will underscore the natural collaboration between parents of elementary-aged children, those in technology/digital fields, elementary education teachers, principals and administrators, future educators, and those who support youth education. Modules will be digital, but the program will also provide physical packets for families who need them in local communities.

Home Works has three main objectives:

  • To provide parents and guardians with tangible academic support as they embrace their roles as co-educators;
  • To provide elementary-aged students with interactive and creative lessons that strengthen their science, social studies, math, reading and language arts skills; and
  • To provide Auburn undergraduates with opportunities to continue earning credit hours toward their teaching requirements and better prepare them for online instruction.

According to the United Nations organization UNESCO, more than 1.5 billion students and youth across the planet are affected by school and university closures because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The College of Education now has created a way to address this need, and its impact can be as broad as the reach of the internet.

In addition to the academic components, faculty from Auburn’s School of Kinesiology will integrate physical education and exercise into the curriculum. The program will kick off for students in the elementary grades K-6, with a goal of expanding it all the way through high school.

The general public can support the project with a donation on its website or by emailing Duante Stanton, development director in the College of Education, at duante.stanton@auburn.edu.

This was written by George Littleton. 

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