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2011.08.25 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

Sept. 9 Program Exposes Future Teachers to Omaha's Culture

Omaha - For the third consecutive year, the College of Education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will host a Culture Walk on Friday, Sept. 9.

The event is designed to teach UNO education majors about diverse student populations at local and regional levels.

More than 150 UNO students will learn best practices for culturally-responsive teaching from community leaders and by participating in neighborhood walks from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the following three locations:

• South Omaha: Latino Culture Walk
El Museo Latino, 4701 S. 25th St.

• North Omaha: African American Culture Walk
Salem Baptist Church, 3131 Lake St.

• Central Omaha: Refugee Communities Culture Walk
Thompson Alumni Center, 6705 Dodge St.

Prior to their time as student teachers, UNO education majors are given an overview of Omaha’s Latino, African American and local refugee and immigrant communities. The Culture Walk program exposes students to issues of diversity and introduces them to community advocates and professionals working in diverse school settings.

The experience allows UNO students to come away with an increased awareness of the impact of culture on learning and childhood development, as well as skill sets to use in the classroom to reach these populations.

“These cultural experiences give UNO students a broad understanding of the cultural concerns and sensitivities needed to teach minority populations,” said Sarah Edwards, College of Education associate professor. “This, in turn, empowers our students with the knowledge and skill sets to make the learning environment more effective and welcoming. Being a culturally responsive teacher is an ongoing learning process, but one that is essential to professional development, better student outcomes and a healthier community.”

Since 2009, the College of Education has hosted 12 Culture Walks, attracting more than 30 College of Education faculty and staff, and more than 375 UNO students.

The college has partnered with more than 15 community agencies for the Culture Walk program, including El Museo Latino, the Empowerment Network, Girls and Boys Clubs of the Midlands, Afraamerican Bookstore and the Hindu Temple.

The Culture Walk program is partially funded by a grant from the Sherwood Foundation.

For more information, contact Sarah Edwards: skedwards@unomaha.edu.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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