When it comes to student growth and success, Colleen Ryan and her mobile classroom are where the rubber meets the road.
Recognizing her students at Rivermont Elementary – a Title I school – were not where they needed to be academically, she and a colleague bought a school bus and transformed it into a classroom for the community. Her efforts to go mobile and build parent partnerships earned her the 2019 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year award from Toyota and the National Center for Families Learning.
Ryan was surprised this month with a $20,000 check from Toyota and the NCFL to be used to continue her family literacy efforts with her mobile classroom.
Ryan and her mobile classroom – called The Passage – offer a free four-week series of 20-minute lessons on math, science and literacy. Parents and students build a notebook of strategies, games and resources that can be used to help children study.
Ryan, a kindergarten teacher, drives the mobile classroom to students’ homes, recreation centers and daycares. Since its inception in November 2016, 75% of students have increased literacy skills and 80% of students have improved math skills.
The Toyota Family Teacher of the Year award is a national honor now in its 23rd year.
Ryan will be recognized for her accomplishments at the annual NCFL Families Learning Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, on Nov. 5.
Since 1997, Toyota’s Family Teacher of the Year winner, runner-up and their respective organizations have received $575,000.
Source: Toyota; National Center for Families Learning