I am a former NYC elementary grades teacher and became interested in experiential learning and vocabulary development while working in NYC schools. At the start of my tenure at WPU, I was tasked with bringing all sections of our elementary literacy course to the field, to be co-taught by a classroom teacher and university professor within an elementary classroom. This formative experience cemented my commitment to community engagement and to facilitating students' vocabulary development through authentic learning experiences. Since then I have led WP students to collaborate with elementary teachers and children to create and maintain a school-community garden in Paterson, to host elementary content fairs on campus, and to engage with the community through local field trips. My recent research has focused on the effects of these types of experiences on college and elementary students.
school gardens; community engagement; experiential learning; vocabulary development;