Building partnerships, because ‘it takes a village’

When students at Beecher High School, Tucker Elementary and McMonagle Elementary schools created gardens and a nature trail, they needed the help of community partners.

Discovering Place  is fortunate that two partnership-building experts, M’Lis Bartlett and Mona Munroe-Younis, will be leading Thursday’s professional development session. As you can see by the bios below, M’Lis and Mona have a wealth of knowledge to share.

Thursday’s workshop will take place 4-7 p.m. at the Flint Public Library (see more details here). Steady Eddy’s, of Flint Farmers’ Market, will serve a tasty meal of freshly-made soup and sandwiches during the session, which is also an opportunity for teachers and partners to learn more about each other.

The workshop will also review the idea of Inquiry-Based Learning, which was the focus of last month’s workshop as well as the video series that teachers and partners were asked to review. Click here for details.

M’Lis Bartlett, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor: M’Lis Bartlett, MLA, and current PhD student at the School of Natural Resources and Environment in Ann Arbor, was formerly the Executive Director for the Friends of the High School for Environmental Studies, a nonprofit based in New York, NY. The Friends was a national model of how to integrate environmental issues into a standard high school curriculum, increasing attendance and test scores. In this role, M’Lis worked to integrate environmental concepts into all disciplines, coordinated teacher professional development opportunities, student career development/guidance, and community-school partnerships. M’Lis is a project advisor for Discovering PLACE, a program of the University of Michigan-Flint Outreach department. Her current research looks at how designing and constructing outdoor school-ground habitats and classrooms affects students’ sense of empowerment.

Mona Munroe-Younis is a Project Coordinator in the Office of University Outreach at the University of Michigan-Flint. In this role, Mona supports the development and implementation of service-learning and community-based learning courses, cultivates university-community partnerships, and offers related professional development for UM-Flint faculty and students (2007-present). Other professional roles she has held at UM-Flint since 2001 include Administrative Coordinator for the Flint River Corridor Alliance, Co-Curricular Coordinator for civic engagement programs, and Business Manager for the Office of Research. Mona holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Planning, with minors in Political Science and International Studies, from the University of Michigan-Flint (2006). She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, with concentrations in Environmental Justice and Environmental Policy. For her Master’s research, Mona was part of a student team that worked with the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban Connections Program to explore the feasibility of adapting a K-12 professional development program on place-based education, called  A Forest for Every Classroom (FFEC), for teachers in Milwaukee and Chicago. (To download the final report or appendices with the logic model and sample lesson plans, please visit the Project Documents section of the project Web site: https://sites.google.com/site/umurbanconnectionsproject).

 

Discovering Place is a program of University Outreach at the University of Michigan-Flint. One of eight hubs of the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, the program aims to help students develop into Flint community and environmental stewards. Working with Flint-area teachers and community partners, Discovering Place supports place-based education projects to help students connect with their surroundings.

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