GMercyU Education Students Engage in Community Service Through Grant

Over a 14-week period, GMercyU Education students instructed students from the community in the use of iPads in academic, social, and ADL (activities of daily living) activities through the Teacher Apprentice Program. At the end of the 14 weeks, the students from the community were awarded the iPads for continued use. This project was made possible through a TD Charitable Grant of $15,000.

GMercyU’s Teacher Apprentice Program gives Education students first-hand insight into how the real world of education works through classroom observations. In all, students spend eight semesters in actual classrooms with the final two semesters dedicated to pre-student teaching and student teaching experiences where students take their turn at the head of the class.

Read reflections from the students below:

“To start this semester, I was told that I would be able to teach one of my TAP students how to use an iPad. I was excited. I chose a student in my Kindergarten class who has economic challenges in addition to being on the Autism spectrum. I chose this student because I know he has trouble paying attention in big groups with learning. A significant task I worked on with my student was helping him learn how to write his name as well as navigate the iPad. To summarize, each Wednesday, when I would come in, he would ask to start iPad work. I would ask him to show me how to turn the iPad screen on and off, and he succeeded. Then, I would ask him whether he can find the weather app. ‘What is the weather like today?’ ‘What do we normally wear in this weather?’ We succeeded in this activity. Using the sound buttons got confusing for him sometimes because he could not remember which button was for louder for smaller sound. Lastly, we finished spelling his name. His teacher told me that was his goal by the end of the year, and I helped him succeed with this task by using the iPad. He knows how to spell and write his name and sound it out. On my last TAP day, I awarded my student with the iPad. He was so happy and excited it brought tears to my eyes. I am grateful that I was able to take part in this project since I was able to assist a kid in achieving his goal and feeling proud of himself.” - Hailey McDonnell

“I just want to say I’m so grateful to have this opportunity with the iPad. I had an amazing day at school with my TAP student. I’m helping him learn to write his name via an app I downloaded. This is a task in which he previously refused to participate in using paper and pencil/marker. It honestly warms my heart that I was able to help this student using this device.” - Ireland Smith

“I have been working with my student since February. When I began working with her, her teacher told me she is always eager to participate in class, but due to her disability, she was unable to execute. Both her mom and teacher told me she struggles with comprehension as well. I began using FunBrain each day, reading part of a book. When we first started, we would read a smaller number of pages and would only get through an average of seven pages. At the end of the 14 weeks, we were able to read a minimum of 15 pages.” - Caitlyn Elliot