Thirty-three teacher education candidates at Coastal Carolina University will discuss their involvement in a year-long mentoring project of at-risk students in the Horry County School on Monday, April 28 and Wednesday, April 30. The event is open to the public.
The teacher candidates in Sandra Nelson's physical education pedagogy classes at Coastal will make presentations in Kearns Hall, room 201 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Through the Wellness Activities & Lifestyle Knowledge (WALK) Mentoring Project, which incorporates both physical activity and dietary practices, the teacher education candidates are expected to assist and motivate an at-risk student (grades 4-8) with overall fitness and wellness and provide assistance for skill improvement in a particular sport(s).
In consultation with their mentee and school personnel, candidates devised a walking program that incorporates the use of academic skills. Through the use of a pedometer and data monitoring, the teacher candidates motivate the younger students to attain fitness/activity goals. In addition, many of these candidates provide academic assistance for their mentees.
Nelson's project has received national recognition. She has been invited to present the project at national conferences including the Physical Activity in Contemporary Education conference in San Diego, Calif., and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance conference in Dallas, Texas, and the International Conference on Education conference in Honolulu. The ultimate goals for this program, offered through the CCU Center for Education and Community, are to improve high school attendance and subsequent graduation rates of Horry County at-risk youth, to increase the university students' awareness of the community in which they are living, and to provide an opportunity for CCU candidates to give back to this community.