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FMU's Center of Excellence Wins National Award
The Francis Marion University Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty recently received the 2013 Partnership Organization Award from the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) at Johns Hopkins University. This is the sixth year the COE has earned this award. 
The COE was recognized for making excellent progress in guiding districts and schools to develop comprehensive programs of school, family, and community partnerships, according to NNPS leadership.
“The Center of Excellence is demonstrating that research-based approaches can be used to increase goal-linked family and community involvement to contribute to student success in school,” said Joyce L. Epstein, Director of NNPS.
The COE, a member of NNPS, provided detailed descriptions of specific strategies that it conducts to help districts and schools improve their plans and programs of family and community involvement to support school improvement goals. Essential elements include teamwork, leadership, goal-linked plans for action, implementation, facilitation, evaluation, and network connections.
For those reasons, said Tammy Pawloski, director of the COE, it is no surprise that the center earned this honor. 
“This recognition underscores our activities which are designed to support local districts in their efforts to build and sustain family and community partnerships,” said Pawloski. “Under the leadership of Markey Bee, associate director, this segment of center services continues to grow.” 
The center assists districts and schools in various ways. Those include training teachers in the conduct and use of research to increase their ability to make data-based decisions, linking research directly with professional development, and helping teachers understand parents who live in poverty and the community resources that are available to them.
This year, a local district and an elementary school were also recognized. Florence School District 3 was awarded the NNPS 2013 Partnership School District Award, the first time a South Carolina school district has received an award, and Delmae Elementary School received the NNPS Partnership School Award for the second consecutive year.
The COE will continue working with districts and schools to help them strengthen their programs, said Bee.
“We are so honored to receive this award that calls attention to the fact that our focus has always been and will always be geared toward the development of effective, goal-oriented partnership practices leading to excellence in the teaching of children of poverty,” Bee said.
For information about FMU’s COE, contact Bee at (843) 661-1826. For information on NNPS, visit the National Network of Partnership Schools website. 
Last Published: September 24, 2013 9:44 AM
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