A St. Lawrence sophomore is "giving back" to the program that helped steer her to higher education, by being a teacher in the program.

Christine D. Ranney '05, of Manchester, New Hampshire, is teaching fiction to fifth-, sixth- and seventh-graders in New Orleans this summer, as part of Summerbridge, a national, privately funded educational program. Ranney recently told The Times-Picayune, New Orleans' daily newspaper, that she participated in the program as a student in her hometown.

Summerbridge began, using the talents, energy and enthusiasm of young people -- not trained as educators -- to inspire and assist economically disadvantaged public school students to achieve educational success, both in high school and college.

This year, 100 students applied for 26 available teaching positions. Subjects being taught, besides fiction, include science, jazz history, math, geography, journalism, conflict resolution, mythology and College 101, in which students learn how to research colleges, apply and write essays.

In addition to wanting to contribute to the program from a different perspective, Ranney said that she is also participating to gain experience as an educator.

Since the program's inception in New Orleans, surveys show that more than 80 percent of the participants credit Summerbridge with teaching them what it takes to get into college. More than 80 percent of the students teaching this summer say that their experience in the program made them more socially conscious and more committed to working for students with limited backgrounds. Nearly three-quarters have become professional teachers or pursued other education-related careers.

Posted: August 1, 2002

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