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Future Teachers Give Back

Toys, Trees Collected for Elementary Students
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Cal State Fullerton’s future teachers are partnering with Rio Vista Elementary School in Anaheim to make the holidays a little brighter for their young students and families.

The education students, led by Kim Case, lecturer in elementary and bilingual education, collected toys — donated by the Student California Teachers Association (SCTA) and Club TEACH — to give to the school’s students and families. The Yorba Linda High School baseball team and Wood Mountain Christmas Trees also are donating 47 trees.  

The toys and trees will be delivered to Rio Vista students from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the school, 310 N. Rio Vista St.

“These families can’t really afford to have celebrations, so this is an opportunity to help them get a tree and presents,” said Catarina Hernandez, SCTA president and a child and adolescent studies major who plans to enter the teaching preparation program next fall.

Stefani Aldaz, SCTA vice president, who wants to become a math teacher, added: “The fact that I am now able to give back to the community I grew up in is what makes this event truly worth it to me. I believe many of our members feel the same. Since as future teachers, this event allows us to assist our future students.”

CSUF students have a history of involvement at Rio Vista, where they are conducting their student teaching, including giving science lessons and planning and facilitating Family Science Night. The third annual event is one more way for Titans to perform community engagement, said Case, who directs the College of Education’s iSTEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) partnership at the K-5 school.

“It gives them the experience of how supporting their students outside of the classroom creates a bond and a connection that often translates into success in the classroom because students feel cared about,” she added.

Case noted that of the school’s 950 students, about 88 percent are socioeconomically disadvantaged, and 58 percent are English learners.

“The partnership is an excellent opportunity for our candidates to see the issues of access and equity that exist within our educational settings so that when they join the teaching profession, they are committed to issues surrounding just, equitable and inclusive education for all students,” Case said.