Boston University’s engagement in the Step UP initiative reflects the expertise and contributions of faculty, staff and students from both the Charles River Campus and the Medical Campus in the South End neighborhood of Boston. The resources made available by Boston University to the Step UP effort address the initiative’s five key areas: leadership, professional development, health and wellness, student achievement, and parent engagement. Boston University’s work is grounded in research and effective practice.
In the 2007/2008, 2008/2009 and current 2009/2010 school years, BU’s primary focus has been to provide support to its partner Step UP schools — The English High School and the William Monroe Trotter Elementary School. A program of academic support and physical conditioning for high school athletes joins the expertise of faculty from the University’s School of Education, College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and the Medical School and draws upon best practices in athletic coaching, motivation, and sports medicine. Similarly, research on effective literacy instruction underlies the continuing family literacy initiative at the elementary school, while research on writing instruction informs professional development for English language arts teachers at the secondary level. Tutoring programs at both the elementary and secondary levels respond to the urgent need to improve student achievement.
New avenues for engagement are being explored with the development of an undergraduate sociology course taught on-site at the Trotter Elementary School. Here faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences have joined with faculty from the School of Education to create an experience in which University students learn first-hand about the life of an urban elementary school while providing meaningful service to children and teachers.
Boston University also reaches out to other Step UP schools, taking the Smart Smiles program, developed collaboratively with Tufts and Harvard universities’ dental schools, to the Winthrop Elementary School as well as to the Trotter Elementary and English High schools. This program provides workshops for children on oral health. In addition, during the 2008/2009 school year, over 150 children received oral health screenings, dental cleanings, fluoride varnish applications and dental sealants through Smart Smiles. Also in collaboration with Tufts University’s school of nutrition, faculty from the BU School of Education’s program in health education contributed to the month-long program on physical activity at the Chittick Elementary School.
Expansion and refinement of Boston University’s Step UP engagement continues in response to the expressed needs and direction of the schools. The Boston University Step UP web site provides more detailed information: www.bu.edu/stepup
BU Step UP Team
Dean, BU School of Education
Director, BU/BPS Collaborative
Public Relations Associate, Public Relations
Assistant Dean for Community Programs, Goldman School of Dental Medicine
Headmaster, English High School
Principal, William Monroe Trotter Elementary School
Executive Director, Media Relations
Associate Provost & Assistant to President
Professor, School of Education