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Delta State University and the city of Cleveland rolled out the red carpet welcoming participants in the 2012 Teach For America Delta Institute.
On Friday, June 8, eleven host families in Cleveland welcomed Teach For America corps members into their homes for refreshments and a home-cooked meal. Supported by the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, the second annual “Delta Hospitality Night” is the brainchild of Jo Parker and Ed Kossman, Jr., who came up with the idea after participating in Teach For America events in the first Delta Institute in 2010. The event gives corps members the opportunity to visit with members of the community and feel more at home in Cleveland.
Delta hospitality continued to shine as over 100 Delta State University and Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce volunteers welcomed approximately 550 Teach For America corps members as they arrived on the Delta State campus Sunday, June 10, bringing the total of Teach For America students and staff at Delta State to approximately 1,100.
The first week of the 2012 Delta Institute culminated on Friday, June 15, with “Catfish on the Quad.” Teach For America corps members were joined by members of the community and Delta State faculty and staff on the Delta State Quadrangle for an evening of fun, food, and entertainment. Participants were treated to a dinner of southern fried catfish, and musical entertainment provided by The Colonels from Brookhaven.
According to Dr. Michelle Roberts, vice president for university relations at Delta State and campus coordinator for the summer institute, the event was, once again, well received by the Teach For America guests. “Many commented that they had never eaten catfish before; but, would definitely be eating it again,” said Roberts. “The Corps Members have just finished their first week in the schools, and appreciate the opportunity to relax and unwind with wonderful food, fun games, and great entertainment. This event would not be possible without all of the wonderful faculty and staff who help setup for the event as well as volunteer their time to serve the food and assist with the games. The hard work pays off when so many of the participants go out of their way to thank the workers and volunteers for helping make their first week on campus so enjoyable and for helping them feel at ease in their new environment.”
Corps members braved the high evening temperature to participate in numerous activities including three-way volleyball, a rock-climbing wall, birdie ball, and much more, before dancing well into the evening.
The 2012 Delta Institute is the only Teach For America training institute in a rural location. Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Tulsa are the other Teach For America institute locations.
About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding individuals of all academic disciplines to commit two years to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. Today more than 9,000 corps members are teaching in 43 urban and rural regions across the country, while nearly 24,000 alumni are working across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. For more information, visit our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.