Graham Academy Partners with Local Colleges
03/05/2016

Local college students are collecting observation hours for their education degrees at the Graham Academy.

Online PR News – 05-March-2016 – Kingston, PA – As the spring semester gets under way for local colleges, an increase in visitors to the Graham Academy has started. Nearly a month ago, students from Wilkes University and King’s College education departments arrived to begin their required observation hours on their journey to becoming teachers. The partnership has been ongoing for several years, but this year has been exceptionally busy.
Throughout the spring semester, the Graham Academy will be host to approximately 25 students from both King’s College and Wilkes University. The observation hours are a necessary part of their education degree program. Once they complete their observation hours, they can complete their field study hours by student teaching.

Ann Marie Aed and Beth Spencer both supervise the field experiences for Wilkes’ education students. “We found out about the Graham Academy and their dedication to special education. We contacted Nick [Ouellette] about meeting and sending Wilkes students to the school for observation and student teaching opportunities. He was immediately open to the idea.” Since that partnership began, Aed and Spencer have helped shape the Graham Academy’s Field Day activities and physical education curriculum, and believe this is a shared learning experience in which Wilkes students take what they learn in their collegiate courses and apply that to Graham Academy classrooms and back to Wilkes to their peers. Aed and Spencer say some students are hesitant, but once they arrive and spend some time in the Graham Academy classrooms, they love the experience and are excited to come back every day. Wilkes University and the Graham Academy will continue their partnership and have several other projects for student and professional development in the works for the future.

Emily, a Wilkes University sophomore from Holland, Pa, begins her second set of observation hours, but her first at the Graham Academy. As a Wilkes education major, she has spent time in both a public school setting and at the Graham Academy this year. “I’ve always wanted to become a teacher, but as a summer camp counselor, a camper with autism really inspired me, so special education interests me.” Emily will log more than 200 observation hours which includes individual and small group teaching opportunities. “I might observe all semester,” she said with a large smile, “the students keep asking me when I’m coming back next.”
The partnership between local colleges and the Graham Academy is one aspect to the school’s dedication to the educational community. “We have a variety of partnerships with community leaders, colleges, and businesses. We empower our students to be active members of our school and community; and want to provide these opportunities for our future educators into special education and more broadly, education” said Nick Ouellette, Graham Academy CEO.

Established in 2008, The Graham Academy is a special education school in Kingston which serves students living with autism or emotional challenges. Students are enrolled in grades K - 12 from school districts throughout Luzerne, Lackawanna, Carbon, and Schuylkill counties. For more information about The Graham Academy, please contact Nick Ouellette at 570-283-0641 or info@thegrahamacademy.com. You can also visit thegrahamacademy.com to learn more.