Jim and Lorrie Neale visited the UWSP College of Professional Studies today to learn how their generosity has made an impact in the School of Education
. The descendants of Oscar Neale have donated $1.9 million to UWSP to create scholarship programs, to sponsor the Oscar W. Neale Memorial Celebration of Teaching banquet honoring cooperating teachers, and to fund the Oscar W. Neale Fellowship
that recognizes and supports outstanding collaboration between UWSP faculty and educators in Central Wisconsin.
The 2010-11 recipient was Karen Hansel from St. Stanislaus Catholic School in Stevens Point. Ms. Hansel collaborated with Ms. Cindy Cate of the SOE faculty to create the P.A.W.S. (Point’s Alliance With St. Stan’s) Literacy Lab. Students from Ms. Cate’s Reading Methods classes worked with classroom teachers and students at St. Stan’s to enhance students’ literacy skills using a method called Reader’s Theater.
St. Stan’s Principal Gregg Hansel and first-grade teacher Ann Molski, a 1991 UWSP School of Ed graduate, thanked the Neales and described the importance of their gift. “The greatest gift is to give these children a sense of empowerment,” said Molski. “If kids can feel important, they are empowered.”
Head of the UWSP SOE Pat Shaw and Debbie Townsend, a pre-service teacher and liaison for the Literacy Lab, explained how UWSP students benefited from the hands-on learning experience. “There were times I was able to implement something we learned in class and that brings it full circle and makes my own learning so meaningful as a future teacher,” said Townsend.
“For our students, this sort of experience makes them realize teaching is absolutely for them and it really reaffirms their career choice,” said Shaw.
“We can’t wait for next year,” said Molski. Even though the Neale Fellowship with St. Stan’s is for one year, Hansel added, “As far as we are concerned, the Literacy Lab will go on forever. It’s becoming a fabric of our school.”Learn how to apply
for the Oscar W. Neal Fellowship.