FMU Center of Excellence to hold Summer Institute, June 8-9

Florence, SC - From Francis Marion University

FLORENCE, SC – The Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty at Francis Marion University will hold its summer institute June 8 and 9, featuring Joyce Epstein, director of the National Network of Partnership Schools and the Center on School, Family and Community Partnerships, Principal Research Scientist and Research Professor of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University; and Eric Jensen, veteran educator and well-known author of books on the brain and learning.

The COE Summer Institute is designed to provide participants with practical, research-based information focusing on the needs and abilities of children of poverty. Breakout sessions will be held on June 8 and Epstein will be the keynote. The June 9 session consists of a full-day interactive assembly featuring Jensen.

The theme of the COE Summer Institute is "Important Work: Teaching Children of Poverty." The two- day program includes two keynote addresses and more than 30 breakout sessions. The event will take place from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Chapman Auditorium in McNair Science Building.

Epstein has conducted research and worked with elementary, middle, and high schools, districts, and state departments of education for many years to help educators build more effective programs of school, family, and community partnerships. Epstein's work has been featured in more than 100 publications on the organization and effects of school, classroom, family, and peer environments, with many focused on school-family-community connections.

In 1996, she established the National Network of Partnership Schools to facilitate the connections of research, policy, and practice for school improvement. She serves on numerous editorial boards and advisory panels on parent involvement and school reform. She is a recipient of the Academy for Educational Development's 1991 Alvin C. Eurich Education Award and the 1997 Working Mother magazine award for her work on family-school partnerships, and co-winner of the 2005 American Orthopsychiatric Association's Blanche F. Ittleson Award for scholarship and service to strengthen school and family connections.

Jensen is a former teacher and current member of the Society for Neuroscience and New York Academy of Sciences. He has taught at all levels, from elementary through university level and is currently completing his Ph.D. in human development. In 1981, Jensen co-founded SuperCamp, the nation's first and largest brain-compatible learning program, now with more than 50,000 graduates. He has since written "Teaching with the Brain in Mind," "Brain-Based Learning," "Deeper Learning," "Arts with the Brain in Mind," "Enriching the Brain," and more than 20 other books on learning and the brain. His most recent book is, "Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids Brains and What Schools Can Do About It."

A leader in the brain-based movement, Jensen has made more than 45 visits to neuroscience labs and interacts with countless neuroscientists. He was the founder of the Learning Brain EXPO and has trained educators and trainers for 25 years worldwide in this field.

Admission is free to the COE Summer Institute for Partner District Educators and all university and college students. There is a $10 registration fee for the public. To register with the Center of Excellence, call 843-669-3391, ext.28, or e-mail the Center at Seating is limited and reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

S.C. Department of Social Service credit is awarded for Early Childhood Education sessions. Professional Development Recertification hours will be awarded to all participants.

The FMU School of Education was awarded a five-year grant that established on campus the Center of Excellence. The grant includes a component that supports staff development and in-service training for teachers in the Pee Dee region. Visit the center's website at for additional information.