Judith Herb College of Education

Brady Partnership Schools – focus on urban education

In 2018, the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program launched the Brady Partnership Schools (BPS) initiative. In May 2020, the program will be graduating its first 3 students! The BPS initiative is an option for students majoring in Early Childhood Education to select as a specialty track with a focus on urban education. Entry into the BPS initiative is competitive and only up to 4 students are selected each semester. UToledo students are placed in BPS partnership schools (East Broadway, Marshall, and Sherman Elementary) as well as partnering Head Start classrooms in order to explore urban education across four practicum semesters.

A key feature of the program is the experience students gain from volunteering in a Boys and Girls Club. By utilizing the clubs, UToledo students are able to work with children from their practicum schools in a social, non-academic context. Students are expected to volunteer 20 hours per semester, excluding the student teaching semester.

Additionally, the BPS initiative is providing JHCOE students the opportunity to engage fully in rich urban school settings with master teachers; helping them to develop skills and dispositions to be successful in these settings upon graduation. The goal is for the UToledo students to be able to step into schools, like Toledo Public, and meet the social, emotional and academic needs of children immediately. Additional student support is provided by two graduate students, Cassidy Boyden and Karen Krepps, who visit placement schools and complete observations of the UToledo students to provide support and insights into working with kids in urban schools, as well as any issues (assessment, behavior, etc.) they may be encountering.


Brady Partnership Schools faculty and students.

Front row (left to right): Kamille Berry, Amanda Hayes, Allie Ralph
Back row (left to right) Ruslan Slutsky, Stephanie Bloom, Kayla Spencer, Dena Deeb, Celleste Brazeau, Stephanie Hunt, Kate Delaney.


Below are statements from BPS students regarding the impact the program has had on them as current students and future teachers:


The Brady Partnership Schools project has changed my outlook on education in many ways throughout my placements in the Toledo Public School District. It has given me the opportunity to learn so much more about my placement school, my students, and especially myself. There are so many opportunities given in this program, whether that be peer and faculty support, informational meetings, or cooperating teachers selected just for me. I look forward to continuing my journey through teaching and education with the Brady Partnership Project. (Amanda Hayes, BPS student)


The Brady Partnership Schools has been such an amazing experience. I have been able to learn so much about myself not only as a teacher but a person. I have been given the opportunity to learn many things other teachers do not get the chance to learn. While being in this program I have met so many remarkable people. Being supported by all those around you and learning from one another’s experiences is by far the best aspect. (Dena Deeb, BPS student)


Being a part of the Brady Partnership Schools has been a very positive experience for me so far. This is my first semester being involved, but I appreciate the extra support we get in the group. Having the opportunity to talk with professors and students from other cohorts has given me different perspectives on teaching, and has helped me while I try to work with the children in my placement. (Allie Ralph, BPS student)


Being a part of the Brady Partnership Schools program has helped me in many ways. It is has provided me with great resources and a group of peers who I can share and gain ideas from on how to improve my teaching skills in an urban setting. It has also given me the opportunity to learn more about the students I interact with through volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club. Through this program I have been able to refine my teaching skills and have learned ways on how to best connect with my students. (Stephanie Bloom, BPS student)



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