Atkins, who teaches students in the fifth- to eighth-grade self-contained special education program, said she’s planning on using the $200 grant to purchase a year-long subscription to News 2 You curriculum to help her students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities.
“What is great about this program is that they take current events and adapt them to all learners, so it allows students to stay up to date on information all while doing so on their level,” Atkins said.
This program is specifically designed to help students learn to read while using picture symbols to assist them, and it also covers other core subjects including Social Studies, Science, Communication, and even Life Skills, Atkins said.
The curriculum will help students who otherwise might not be able to access this information on their own, and let them “to read and stay up to date on information just like their peers or siblings are able to,” Atkins said.
The curriculum helps students understand what’s happening around them at their own pace, Atkins said.
The program is intended to help students practice skills they’ll need for the future while preparing them for state level assessment tests. It includes articles and activities published weekly that can track students’ progress with each task to see how they’re doing.
Atkins’ News 2 You initiative reflects the Pendergast School District governing board’s vision of believing in all students and supporting all learners.
“There’s nothing better than looking at a student and seeing them realize that they can do it, and there are always people there who are going to believe in them,” Atkins said.
“Their curriculum is based off of the current events. It’s leveled off in different areas so they are able to understand it and still know what’s going on in the world today,” Atkins said.
“Very timely, I might add,” Davidson said.
Video edited by Muska Olumi/AZEdNews: Meet AZEdNews Classroom Grant Winner Jamie Atkins
The AZEdNews Classroom Grant helps teachers like Atkins, thanks to sponsors like Davidson/Belluso. Davidson/Belluso is a full-service advertising agency based in Phoenix that is dedicated to supporting teachers and schools in Arizona and a long-time partner of ASBA and AZEdNews.
Since it was founded 20 years ago, Davidson/Belluso has been focused on helping purpose-driven organizations achieve their marketing goals while contributing to the community. They work with all levels of educational institutions, as well as other private and public sector organizations. Educational communication and marketing are primary areas of expertise for Davidson/Belluso, which has helped public educational entities from K-12 and higher education in their marketing efforts by communicating with their audiences, increasing enrollment, and maximizing resources.
“We’re really excited to be a part of this program,” Davidson told Atkins. “We at, Davidson/Belluso, obviously have a strong commitment to cause-based brands especially the ones that help our community at large. Programs like this are exactly what we’re looking for to incentivize and help.”