Teacher Opportunity Corps Welcomes Children's Book Author.

(Pictured above from left to right: Tabitha Colon, Pace SOE student; Zetta Elliott, Children's Author; Cariel Clarke, Pace SOE student; Patricia Parrilla, TOC Program Director; Dante Plush, Pace SOE graduate and IS 339 Teacher; Jennifer Vitiello, Pace SOE graduate)

The Pace University School of Education Teacher Opportunity Corps hosted children’s author Zetta Elliott at Bronx middle school IS 339 on February 4, 2017. Elliott addressed students, teachers, and parents about writing and publishing books for children. She followed her presentation with a writing workshop for eighth graders.

Recent SOE graduate Dante Plush is a teacher at IS 339, a Department of Education Priority School where Plush teaches sixth grade Social Studies. In addition, he co-teaches an extended after-school learning class, and is a volunteer reader for Elliott’s pre-published books. Since this presentation,  Plush and his students have begun a literary magazine for the sixth through eighth grade school. In fact, students were so inspired they began submitting their stories and drawings on scrap pieces of paper. Assistant Principal Celeste Barry said the students really enjoyed the event and Principal Kim Outerbridge thanked Pace and said, "Great things are happening at 339!"
 
Elliott has self-published more than 25 books that give voice and visuals to children of color. Her books are rooted in cultural historical facts with adventures in and around New York City and act as a mirror for many children of color to find stories which reflect the experiences they can't always find in non-fiction books.

The TOC program works to enhance the preparation of teachers and prospective teachers in addressing the learning needs of students at risk of truancy, academic failure, or dropping out of school and to increase the participation rate of historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged individuals in teaching careers. For more information about TOC, please click here.