Molloy College Supports Students in Baldwin Schools as they Navigate Remote Learning

By Joie Tyrrell
Excerpted from Newsday

Baldwin partners with Molloy

Baldwin, which has about 4,500 students, partners with Molloy College in Rockville Centre. Molloy graduate students studying to become teachers lead the small-group program.

The program's coordinator, Audra Cerruto, associate dean and director of the graduate education program at Molloy, said that while she is "very concerned about regression and the lack of progression" of students' academic skills, "social and emotional learning has to be the priority right now."

"If they don't feel safe and don't feel connected to others, and they don't have a sense of hope, they cannot learn - and they need to be ready to learn," Cerruto said.

The program, which is free and used to be in-person on weekends, runs throughout the year and is divided into four parts at four weeks each part. More than 70 students signed up this fall. The program has pivoted to focus on social and emotional learning, including lessons on creating hope and making meaningful connections while also incorporating math and reading skills. Sessions start with a main group activity, and then the graduate students break into smaller groups to work with children. They use educational games and activities.

Parent Andrea Harrison said the program gives her two children - ages 5 and 8, and full-remote learners - a chance to socialize with other students.

"They are learning, but it is in a fun kind of way, so they don't realize that they are learning," she said.

Baldwin Superintendent Shari Camhi said the program fits with the district's curriculum and philosophy.

"This opportunity with Molloy is another opportunity for kids to collaborate with one another, " she said. "Would it be better in person? One hundred percent ... What I am hoping for is once this is over, we can have the same program in-person."

The district has noted some regression among math skills, Camhi said, but children have made incredible gains in areas that are not measured, such as technology skills.