Thanks to a gift of $4.3 million from the estate of alumna Dorothea Harju
, the Harju Center for Equity in Education at UW-Stevens Point has been established in the School of Education, focused on addressing educational inequities in Wisconsin. By supporting diverse and first-generation elementary education teachers, the Harju Center will help level the education playing field for Wisconsin children.
The Harju Center for Equity in Education will support rural education and prepare elementary education teachers. This includes 20 scholarships, which will first be available for students enrolling for fall 2020, and those at branch campuses in Wausau and Marshfield who major in elementary education at the main UW-Stevens Point campus.
The Harju Center will help supply more teachers to rural school districts and prepare them for the special needs of those areas. It will also help UW-Stevens Point serve underrepresented minority students in metropolitan areas.
Dorthea Harju taught in a rural, elementary school district and had a passion for all learners and new educators. In the spirit of Dorthea and the legacy she left in the field of education, this endowment will support the preparation and sustainable development of all educators in the state of Wisconsin.
The vision of the Harju Center for Equity in Education is to empower current and future elementary educators to recognize and address persistent challenges, close achievement gaps, and overcome barriers to providing equitable, inclusive, and responsive instruction to students. Our goal is to have positive impacts on Wisconsin schools and learners through supportive collaboration, innovation, and professional development.