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Monday, February 27, 2012

Bucknell Elementary School and Bucknell University Team Up for Unique Partnership

Bucknell Elementary School and Bucknell University are joining forces for a unique partnership which will benefit students at both educational institutions. The students will participate in several cooperative projects via virtual meetings, the second of which is scheduled for 3:50 p.m. on Wednesday, February 29. Bucknell Elementary School is a Fairfax County public school.

Fifth and sixth grade students at Bucknell Elementary are participating in virtual discussions, using FCPS 24-7 Learning (Blackboard) tools, with Bucknell University students who are studying education. The elementary school students are interviewing the university students about their individual paths to college. The university students are interviewing the elementary students about their experiences as learners in a diverse school community. 

The two groups of students also plan to blog periodically during the second semester on social studies content and research questions from the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Global Awareness Technology Project. 

Bucknell Elementary contacted Bucknell University last year in an effort to find a connection between the two educational institutions. Principal Tim Slayter and social worker Carrie Jones, a graduate of Bucknell University, were connected with two professors in the education department who teach courses on multiculturalism. The goal of the partnership is, via supervised blogging and Skype, to teach Bucknell University education students about diverse populations, help understand the nuances of working with oral language skills of second language learners, and to teach Bucknell Elementary students about college readiness, the college environment, and prerequisites to college.  

Nearly 43 percent of Bucknell Elementary School students qualify as limited English proficient, and more than 74 percent are eligible for free or reduced price meals. 

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Note: Bucknell Elementary School is located at 6925 University Drive in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County. For more information, contact Bucknell Elementary principal Tim Slayter at 703-660-2900 or tslayter@fcps.edu.