MAILED: July 13, 2000
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire professors and students are responsible for a program that provides area youth the chance to sharpen their academic skills during the summer months.
The Learning Enhancement and Progression clinic, which has been in operation for about 15 years, is in the midst of its six-week session. The clinic is a collaborative partnership between the department of special education at the university and the Eau Claire public schools.
Forty-three children in grades one through eight are participating in the clinic this summer. They meet four mornings a week at Longfellow Elementary School to work on skills such as reading, writing, studying, spelling and math.
Graduate and selected undergraduate students majoring or minoring in special education serve as the teachers in the clinic. This year, 13 UW-Eau Claire students are involved in the program. The students earn credit toward their degrees, fulfill graduation requirements and gain valuable teaching experience by participating in the clinic, said Greg Conderman, LEAP supervisor and associate professor in the department of special education.
The university students have many responsibilities as teachers in the clinic, Conderman said.
"They use a research-based teaching curriculum, they monitor student progress, they write lesson plans, they reflect on their teaching and they complete assessments and a final report. They also are responsible for developing a learning climate that stimulates learning and thinking and responsible behavior," he said.
This year, according to Conderman, the graduate students are expanding their leadership roles in the clinic by mentoring undergraduate teachers and working closely with parents. As part of their class requirement, they also are researching and writing a paper on effective instructional techniques.
Conderman and assistant professor of special education Joe Morin along with two assistants, graduate student Kris Dubiel and recent graduate Linda Arrowood, supervise the clinic.
The program provides a great experience for everyone involved, Conderman said. "The clinic offers a very unique and much needed service to the community and families in this area. Children gain in their skills and confidence, teachers learn effective teaching skills and parents receive quality instruction for their children at a very modest cost."
This is a very important program that wouldn't be possible without the help of the administration and custodial staff at Longfellow, Conderman said. "We are very appreciative of all the time they've put in to make this work."
The clinic continues through Aug. 3. If you have any questions or want information about next summer's clinic, you may contact program assistant Linda Brunner in the department of special education.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: July 20, 2000