CHIME institute receives $10,000 donation for upcoming teachers

Tenny Minassian

The Children’s Center Handicapped Integration Model Educational (CHIME) institute received $10,000 from the Mara W. Breech foundation to support the Educator Development Center in December 2011.

This is the third consecutive year the foundation has donated to CHIME, said Michael Spagna, Dean of the Michael D. Eisner College of Education.

The Grant provides support for students who will become teachers through internship programs. It will help support an infant/toddler program, a preschool/kindergarten program located at CSUN and CHIME Institute’s Schwarzenegger Community School, Spagna said.

“CHIME started back in 1990 at CSUN,” Spagna said. “The programs are fully inclusive, including all kids with special needs. The belief is this results in academic improvement for all kids.”

Students who intern with CHIME can also be offered paid positions.

Graduate student Anita Pulley, who is an Inclusion Specialist in the kindergarten and preschool classrooms at the child and families study center on the CSUN campus (CSUN LAB School).  Pulley will graduate in May 2012, with her master’s degree and a credential in Special Education disabilities.

“I have learned how to work within a team and how to collaborate with one another to do what is best for the children,” Pulley said. “I have learned various methods on how to support children especially through positive behavior support methods.”

The funding will help increase the number of CSUN student teachers that are trained annually, develop new instructional materials and provide the CHIME faculty with opportunities to gain professional experience, said Annie R. Cox, executive director of the CHIME Early Education Programs.

“CHIME provides the opportunity for hands-on experience in inclusive early education and elementary and middle school settings, including mentoring and guidance by highly qualified faculty and staff,” Cox said. “The experience and training in inclusive education also fills the shortage of special education teachers in the surrounding school districts.”