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PowerTech America Commits $40,000 to Summer Enrichment Program

PowerTech America, Inc. has pledged $40,000 to Auburn University’s College of Education’s Early Childhood Summer Enrichment Program (SEP). PowerTech America, a unit of Seosan, Korea-based Hyundai PowerTech, manufactures automatic transmissions for both the on-site Kia plant as well as other US-based Hyundai plants.

The Auburn SEP is a six-week summer program centered on a specific theme designed to offer learning opportunities to children three- to eight-years-old. The SEP is not a traditional summer school housed in a classroom setting; instead, the SEP is modeled after constructivist theory that provides a rich intellectual and physical environment and supportive interactions to children in a way that is respectful of their natural process of learning.

Sean Durham, SEP Director and assistant professor in Curriculum and Teaching, stated, “This gift from PowerTech will enable the SEP to dramatically enhance its ability to provide a leading-edge laboratory experience that will impact the local community and early childhood teaching quality in the region as we train teachers in research-based principles of child development and early learning. Additionally, for many years, the SEP program has needed child-sized furniture and materials to make this outreach and practicum a higher-quality experience for the children and university students we reach.”

In celebration of the program’s 25-year anniversary, this year’s theme was “Our Amazing Auburn.” The children conducted in-depth studies of the trees and buildings that make up the campus community through field trips, observations and data collection, and technology resources. Their studies culminated with several projects emerging, including a large tree sculpture built from art and natural materials and several replicas of campus landmarks made from recycled materials. The trees and buildings studies were facilitated by curriculum resources granted to Dr. Durham by Teaching Strategies, LLC, publishers of The Creative Curriculum for Preschool.

The SEP is an outreach of the Department of Curriculum and Teaching and simultaneously functions as a practicum for university students in early childhood education offering students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with young children and learning curriculum development skills alongside their university coursework. Dr. Angela Love, associate professor in Curriculum and Teaching, coordinates the early childhood teacher licensure program.

Charitable gifts from corporations and foundations — as well as those from alumni and friends — in support of Auburn University are made through the Auburn University Foundation. To make a tax-deductible, charitable donation to Auburn, visit www.auburn.edu/giving, or learn more about the full scope of philanthropic opportunities that can benefit the university at develop.auburn.edu/how.

For more information on the SEP please visit www.education.auburn.edu/outreach/sep.

Contact: Joel Kobzeff, College of Education, jjk0008@auburn.edu.

Last Updated: Sep 30, 2013

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