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The Padua Alliance shares its vision with the Padua Center:
The vision of the Padua Center is a neighborhood free of commercial sex trafficking, drugs (use and supply) beautified by people actively engaged in community and self-growth (www.paduacenter.org)
The Padua Alliance focuses on engagement and self-growth through facilitating access to educational opportunities. It provides opportunities for future professionals in service professions (education, counseling, social work) to learn how to be actively engaged in communities. It supports neighborhood residents to access high-quality, community-centered educational opportunities conducive to self-growth.
The Padua Alliance’s work falls under four focus areas:
- Participatory Action Research (Graduate students)
- Higher Education as Transformation (HEAT), which administers UT@TPS Community-Based College Coursework (Undergraduate students)
- Peace Education for Padua Possibilities Alternative-to-Suspension Program (K-5 students)
- Intergroup Workshops for Teachers
1) Participatory Action Research
Every fall graduate students from throughout the Judith Herb College of Education, Health Science, and Human Service collaborate with residents and neighborhood business people in a participatory action research (PAR) project. In PAR, researchers and the stakeholders define the problems to be examined, work together to conduct research, and commit to taking action based on the research. This process puts UT graduate students in a collaborative relationship with neighborhood residents—the type of relationship they will need to develop professionally in order to be effective as educators and other social service professionals. PAR projects have included:
Assets and Needs Assessment determining needs included safety, education, neighborhood revitalization, and community empowerment.
Oral History Project documenting the community’s history from 19th and early 20th century Polish culture to current African American culture download pdf
Light the Night collaboration with the City of Toledo and Pickett School resulting in improved street lighting and establishing Brighten Up Community Organizing download pdf
Self-Expression Teen Theater project documenting effective educational strategies for youth to develop life skills, academic skills, and community involvement strategies download pdf
Kwanzaa Park I, documenting the Kwanzaa principles at work in the neighborhood in recognition of the neighborhood’s changing its name to “Kwanzaa Park” in summer 2011 download pdf
Kwanzaa Park II, continued documentation of the Kwanzaa principles at work in the neighborhood
2) Higher Education as Transformation (HEAT): UT@TPS
Through its HEAT program, the Padua Alliance coordinates programming for UT@TPS (http://www.utoledo.edu/call/ut_tps.html). The Alliance facilitates collaboration between the University of Toledo (UT), Penta Career Center, and Toledo Public Schools to make educational opportunities accessible to adult neighborhood residents.
UT@TPS had its first cohort of undergraduate students in January 2010. It is a direct outgrowth of the PAR project in that it was inspired by the need for neighborhood residents who work with the graduate students as co-researchers to have access to college education and thus to be able to coach their children and the children of their neighborhood for successful participation in college.
To provide access to GED completion as a bridge to higher education;
To provide access to higher education, i.e., Associate and Bachelor degrees;
To create college-going cultures in the host institutions of public K-12 schools and community organizations;
HEAT brochure: download pdf
3) Peace Education for Padua Possibilities
Padua Possibilities Alternative-to-Suspension Program is central to the Padua Center’s mission and vision, and serve primarily K-5 graders from six schools in and around the neighborhood. The Padua Alliance provides the Peace Education component of the program via UT faculty consultation, and UT graduate and undergraduate students Service Learning. Service Learning integrates community service, here in the form of curriculum development and academic help for individual students, with college coursework so that undergraduate and graduate students become better professionals, with the skills and dispositions necessary to collaborate in their communities while providing direct help to those communities.
4) Intergroup Workshops for Teachers
The Padua Alliance works with members of Brighten Up Community Organizing to provide workshops for teachers who want to learn more about successful teaching of African American children. Workshops are based on the Culturally Relevant Teaching (CRT), as developed in the research of Gloria Ladson-Billings, and are informed by work in Folklore and Education, as represented on the Local Learning website (http://locallearningnetwork.org/). Workshops range in length from 2 hours to 5 days. Kwanzaa Park organizations that have been involved in giving the workshops include Self-Expression Teen Theater (SETT), Paradise Baptist Church, Woodberry Park Inventions and Art, and the Padua Center. In Summer 2013 a weeklong workshop sponsored by the Ohio Humanities Council with support from the University of Toledo College of Graduate Studies will take 25 teachers, many on full scholarship, into the neighborhood to learn about the humanities of everyday life from Kwanzaa Park.
Co-Director, The Padua Alliance
Director, The Padua Center
1416 Nebraska Avenue
Toledo, OH 43607
Co-Director, The Padua Alliance
Associate Professor, Educational Foundations
The University of Toledo
Toledo OH 43606
419-530-7749 or 419-283-8288 (messages here)