Federal Grant to Help Prepare More Native American Teachers in Wis.
Superior, WI (Northland's NewsCenter) --- A one million dollar federal grant awarded to the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College hopes to bring more Native American teachers into Wisconsin schools. With this grant, the LCO Community College and UW-Superior hope to launch a collaborative program to prepare more Native American teachers, including some proficient in the Ojibwe language. The $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education will fund the first four years of the Lac Courte Oreilles Future Indian Teachers Project. The Future Indian Teachers Project hopes to solve a severe shortage of Native American teachers in northwestern Wisconsin by preparing Native American teachers skilled in the latest teaching methods and fluent in Ojibwe language and culture. “It’s long been recognized that Native American students are more successful when they have teachers who bridge the gap between education and culture,” said Terri Kronzer, chair of the Educational Leadership Department and associate dean of Graduate Studies at UW-Superior. “Through the Future Indian Teachers Project, we will provide highly qualified teachers who are classroom ready.” The goal of the Future Indian Teachers Project is for 15 students to earn bachelor’s degrees in education from UW-Superior by 2015. Ojibwe language and culture will be a key part of the curriculum. Five of the teachers will be trained as Ojibwe Language Immersion Instructors for the Waadookodaading Ojibwe Charter School located at the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation. After completing their UW-Superior degrees, the teachers will complete a one-year teaching internship in the K-12 schools on the LCO reservation, located near Hayward, Wis. Officials involved in the Future Indian Teachers Project want it to become a long-term effort to solve the region’s shortage of Native American teachers. Posted to the web by Krista Burns