Delta State is preparing for the arrival of approximately 1,000 guests for Teach For America’s (TFA) 2013 Delta Institute. This will be the fourth year that Delta State has served as an Institute site, and remains the only Institute in a rural area. Through hard work and planning, the campus will be ready to welcome the eager young professionals.
Volunteers help make the entire summer a success. Ashley Neal, who helped organize and plan this year’s events, has been busy recruiting volunteers.
“We have been very busy the last couple of weeks getting packets and other materials together for the Teach For America Staff and Corps Members and working with Delta State support staff and the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce to see that everything is ready when they arrive. We have been recruiting faculty, staff, and community members to help during events that will take place over the next few weeks," said Neal.
“The first event is ‘Registration Day’ which will be held next to Wyatt Gym on Sunday, June 9, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.” Those helping with registration will serve in a variety of areas such as greeting corps members as they arrive, providing directional aid, and assisting those moving into the residence halls. Volunteers have also assembled welcome packets for registration day.
“The second event is ‘Catfish on the Quad’ which will be held at the end of their first week,” said Neal. Volunteers will work for two-hour increments in food and drink distribution stations and also assist with the games area.
The dining staff has created custom menus for the summer, taking into consideration special dietary needs. Additional staffing, tables and chairs, small wares, and equipment will be put into place to accommodate the large number of guests.
Delta State Dining Services Chef Manager Sharon Green said, “We always try to keep TFA in the back of our minds throughout the year. It is such a large undertaking for us that we have to be organized and ready for them. We cannot wait until the last minute.”
Housing and Residence Life is working closely with Facilities Management to ensure residence halls are ready. The custodial staff teams are cleaning campus residence halls and apartments from top to bottom, and residence hall staff will return to campus in preparation for the arrival of the TFA staff and corps members.
Campus repair and maintenance areas are overseen by Facilities Management, and they work to provide TFA with an attractive, clean, and accessible campus, while Campus Police officers ensure a safe environment. Technology support and accessibility are managed by the Office of Institutional Technology, and the support systems for the instructional aspects of the program are made possible by the Library Services and Instructional Resources Center teams.
Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates of all academic majors and career interests who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools and become leaders in the effort to expand educational opportunity. These corps members work in school districts challenged by poverty, geography or other issues. Their training to teach begins at summer institute sites located across the nation, including Cleveland, Atlanta, Ga., Chicago, Ill., Houston, Texas, Los Angeles, Calif., New York City, N.Y., Philadelphia, Pa., Phoenix, Ariz., and Tulsa, Okla.
For more information on Teach For America or to volunteer to help with an event, please contact Ashley Neal at 662-846-4000.