Genesee Region Teacher Center Grant Fair at Genesee Community College

GRTC Celebrates its 20th Anniversary

GRTC Celebrates its 20th Anniversary

On Wednesday, October 11, 2006 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., the Genesee Region Teacher Center (GRTC) will hold its annual Grant Fair at Genesee Community College in the Forum of the Batavia Campus. This year’s fair marks the 20th anniversary of the Teacher Center. More than 42 recipients of the Center’s mini-grants for innovative classroom and school practices will be exhibiting at the fair. Grant Writing workshops will also be conducted to assist interested educators considering possible projects of their own.

The grants, available to all educators within the consortium, have funded a dynamic blend of exciting projects that have involved truly innovative, cross-curriculum opportunities for students and teachers. Imagine an integrated whitewater study occurring at Letchworth State Park where math equations are applied to determine the velocity of water, students study the geological history seen in the rock strata, and budding biologists report on the flora and fauna. Alternatively, one school literally transformed a section of the school into previous time periods such as the Middle Ages, ancient Egypt, and last year’s focus—the wild, Wild West. This week-long presentation involves all classes, a day of costuming, and an assortment of very applicable projects. GRTC grants have also supplied the funds for an art department to demonstrate how ancient pottery was fired by creating a genuine Iroquois fire pit which was used just like the Native Americans did centuries ago.

These are among the many innovative classroom and school practices funded by Genesee Region Teacher Center, which is currently based at Attica Central School. It is one of 128 centers in the state financed by a New York State legislative grant and monitored by the New York State Education Department. The GRTC oversees 12 school districts in Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans Counties, along with private schools. Formed in 1986 by a group from the local teachers’ union who were responsible for negotiations and sharing information, GRTC began with only three districts and now consists of 1,800 educators.

Candace Bower, Genesee adjunct instructor and Teacher Center Director since 1999, reports that “the Center is busier than ever due to new state mandates requiring that all new teachers be mentored, teacher assistants must be certified, and both are required to get professional development.”

Genesee Community College is also aligned with the Teacher Center through its Teacher Education Transfer Program. Genesee’s program director, Christine Belongia, is the Center’s Higher Education Policy Board representative. According to Ms. Belongia, “collaboration between Genesee and the Center has greatly enhanced the Teacher Education Transfer Program, as well as the Teaching Assistant Programs. Having the Grant Fair at the College affords my students and the faculty with an opportunity to network with K-12 master teachers and share ideas.”

The event is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.

For further information please contact Christine Belongia with Genesee Community College at 585-343-0055 x6278, email, or Candace Bower of the Genesee Region Teacher Center 585-591-0400 x2103,