The Harding University Partnership School brings its entire student body for a day of activities at UC Santa Barbara on May 17

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Harding University Partnership School, which since January 2010 has been partnered with UC Santa Barbara and in particular UCSB’s Gevirtz School, will bring the entire school – students, teachers, and many parents, too – to the UC Santa Barbara campus on Friday, May 17 from 9 am – 12:30 pm. This will be the fourth annual visit for Harding to UCSB. Students ranging from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade will take part in activities aimed specifically for their grade levels and designed to enhance the curriculum they’ve been studying in their Westside school.

“We bring the Harding community to UCSB as a way to ensure that our children and parents feel they belong on a university campus,” Acting Dean Gale Morrison of the Gevirtz School says. “In addition to the cutting edge learning opportunities they will experience during the visit, they will be welcomed by UCSB students, faculty, and staff as a way to invite them back as university students.”

The events during the day include Grade 1 students attending a session entitled “Discovering Antarctica;” Grade 3 students attending “Is It Magic? No, It’s Science!” a program presented by Gevirtz School professors Danielle Harlow and Sue Johnson; and Grade 4 students attending a session entitled “Color Book,” a project-oriented class built around taking photos of color patterns in nature on campus, compiling the best of these photos into a digital book, and writing poems about the photos. This session that brings together science, computers, art, and creative writing will be led by Gevirtz School Education Professor Patrick Faverty, the school’s Information Technology Director Bill Doering, and Santa Barbara Poet Laureate (and UCSB Library staff member) Chryss Yost. Numerous opportunities will be available to talk to students and get wonderful footage of youth learning in action, while also getting a sense that college can be for them.

The historic Harding School – whose students are nearly 95% Hispanic, more than 90% economically disadvantaged, and more than 60 % of its pupils are English Language Learners – has been involved in major changes over the past five years. These efforts were punctuated by the January 2010 announcement of an unprecedented partnership with UC Santa Barbara.

The Harding University Partnership School is a place of joy, excellence, and international focus. Of particular distinction for the neighborhood is the University School’s status as an International Baccalaureate Program, making it the only Santa Barbara elementary school currently pursuing this highly acclaimed approach that emphasizes 21st century skills and international mindedness.

The stellar teaching staff is assisted by graduate level teacher candidates from UCSB providing greater support for students at every grade level with the latest research-based practices. Faculty researchers and UCSB undergraduate tutors partner with teachers to deliver the latest evidence-based instruction.

[Gale Morrison is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]