|Cover: by Grace, Boyd/Berry School|
Comer Comes to Springfield
Warm Stove and Krazy Glue
The Comer Process
School Development, Springfield Style
The Brewer Brothers
A History of Making a Difference
Reading with Feeling
Responsibility, Preparation, Hard Work
Building a Community
It's All About Kids
A Developing Future
When my first child Eli was born on Sept. 4, he didn't change my life, he gave me a new one. Much of what seemed important a year ago is meaningless now, while some things that used to be unimportant intrude unexpectedly into my thoughts. I find myself worrying about schools, for instance. I wonder what makes a school "good." High test scores? Noisy classrooms? Quiet classrooms? Cultural diversity? Good food?
Lucky for Eli, lots of people have solid thoughts about what makes a school work. One set of ideas, formulated by Dr. James Comer at the Yale University School of Medicine, emphasizes the importance of child development in creating a successful school environment, and offers a structure where parents, administrators, counselors and teachers work together to identify what the school's children need.
In 1996, the Comer process came to Springfield, bringing new momentum to an existing partnership between Drury and nearby Boyd/Berry Elementary School. The benefits became clear quickly, and the school district and Drury expanded the partnership to include the neighborhood schools up the line from Boyd/Berry: Pipkin Middle School and Central High School. The partnership we share is so strong, it has been featured twice in the last year at national education conferences in Washington, D.C.
More recognition is on the way. In April, educators from across the nation will converge at Drury for the "Developing Success for Youth" conference, which will focus on child development as a component of educational reform. For more information about the conference call (417) 873-7344.
This issue of Drury magazine explores the past, present and future of the Springfield-Drury-Yale partnership. The partnership, propelled by an impressive sense of enthusiasm, connects Drury to the surrounding neighborhood, provides opportunities to Drury education students and brings benefits to schools and teachers. And while all the recognition is appropriate, what matters most is that a group of dedicated, thoughtful people are committed to making life better for the children who attend these schools. I think that's what will matter the most to Eli.