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GCU School of Education Club Makes a Difference at Local Elementary School

School of Education Club donation

Kelsi Sanfilippo-Crennan, Jennifer Tregillies, Jenna Yascur, and Spruce Street School Vice Principal Yvette Cucuro (left to right)

In an effort to support and recognize teachers and schools, the newly established Georgian Court University School of Education Club set up a school supply drive with the help of Cassandra Lo, Ed.D., assistant professor of education and director of the School of Education’s pre-education program. In February, three of the club’s officers—Jennifer Tregillies, president; Jenna Yascur, vice president; and Kelsi Sanfilippo-Crennan, secretary, presented the collected school supplies to Spruce Street School in Lakewood, New Jersey. The donated supplies included books, pencils, glue sticks, and sensory toys.

Jenna, a mathematics and education major, is aspiring to become a special education teacher at an elementary school, and says that the visit to Spruce Street School was a rewarding experience for both her and the club.

“This was something we really wanted to do, and we are so happy we did,” says Jenna. “It means a lot to be able to help out and support the schools in our own community.”

The GCU students presented the supplies to Spruce Street School’s Vice Principal Yvette Cucuro, met Principal Aleida Salguero, and interacted with some of the elementary students, many of whom spoke Spanish, Jenna notes.

“Ms. Salguero and Ms. Cucuro set a shining example of what it means to care for students,” says Christopher J. Campisano, Ed.D., dean of the GCU School of Education. “Our aspiring teachers at GCU no doubt learned from this wonderful experience.”

The main goals of the School of Education Club are to allow students to volunteer, offer professional development, and be a place where students can get together with others. During this first year, the club also hosted a teacher panel and had planned an autism awareness event to recognize four special education teachers and provide them with school supplies. The club members plan to visit other local schools in the future to make a difference in the lives of more students and teachers.

Story contributed by GCU English major Melissa Grinvalds ’20.

About Georgian Court University

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 2,400 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 14 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2019, GCU was named a Best College for Your Money by Money Magazine and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. GCU rose more than 30 points in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings due, in part, to high student retention and graduation rates, which also made GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at Hazlet, GCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.

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