Literacy Volunteers of Southwest Minnesota

We support the literacy goals of adults and families living in SW Minnesota through quality tutoring, community partnerships, and advocacy.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to Literacy Volunteers for GTMD17. You helped us meet our $500 matching gift for STEAM-ed at Marshall Middle School. Your donation will help STEAM-ed with program costs, including teaching resources, bus transportation for students, and outreach activities with families. Please see below for more information about STEAM-ed.

We believe literacy changes lives, and we support literacy and lifelong learning for learners of all ages. We partner with Marshall Public School's ECFE to offer a Family Literacy program, provide individual tutoring and evening classes for adult learners, and, this year, will provide tutoring and academic mentoring for students in English Learner classes at Marshall High School. We do a number of family programs related to special topics, like STEM, health, and financial literacy.

Now in its 4th year, STEAM-ed works with between 25 and 30 students each year to explore and build knowledge about concepts in science, math, engineering, arts (and design), and technology with students in grades 6-8. In spring 2017, we talked with students about options for this year. They chose to try something new and challenging. We are excited this school year 2017-18 to be a participant in Future City, a national program in which students are asked, "How can we make the world a better place?" (https://futurecity.org/about). Each year there is a specific theme, and for this year the theme is "The Age Friendly City."

STEAM-ed students have risen to the challenge, learning to be project managers and city planners, applying the engineering and design process, researching what it means to be age-friendly, applying new tech tools, and creating a city of the future that will be a better place. They have five "deliverables": a Virtual City, City Essay, City Model, City Presentation, and a Project Plan. They head to Dakota County Technical College for the Minnesota Regional Competition in Rosemount on January 20, 2018, and they have a team goal of making it to the national finals in Washington, D.C. on February 20, 2018.

As part of our work with students, we also want to engage with their families. The majority of our STEAM-ed participants are the children of parents who came to the U.S. as immigrants or refugees. Several students are currently enrolled in English learner classes, so they are working especially hard to master new vocabulary and are key contributors to the Future City project. We look forward to hosting family members at a special presentation in early January. We are fortunate to work with volunteers from Southwest Minnesota State University and the Marshall community and to have great support from staff members at Marshall Middle School. 

If you want to learn more about STEAM-ed or are interested in becoming a volunteer, please call 507-401-7337.



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