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Chinese visitors experience Siler City Elementary classroom

Posted Saturday, September 3, 2005

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Siler City, NC - On Tuesday, August 30, guests of the School of Social Work at UNC Chapel Hill visited Siler City Elementary School to observe a lesson in social skills. The Chinese visitors, through the help of a translator, learned about the school from Mary Lee Moore, Director of Federal Programs in Chatham County Schools, and Angie Brady-Andrew, Principal of Siler City Elementary School.

Moore and Brady-Andrew described how Siler City Elementary had worked with the School of Social Work for three years to share the Making Choices curriculum with third graders. The program is based on the latest research in child development and intervention. It focuses on learning good social skills and is comprised of a series of twenty-eight lessons. A grant from the National Institute of Health funded the program. The UNCCH School of Social Work was studying social and aggressive behavior in the classroom. A full-time social worker on campus spent one year studying and two years working with third graders. Moore noted that, during that time, parents were involved in the study and learned how to assist their children with social issues. Brady-Andrew described how the Making Choices curriculum fit well with the third grade academic curriculum. She commented on how she saw improvement in the choices students made because of what they learned in the program.

Melanie Marshall, a staff member in the UNCCH School of Social Work, taught a demonstration lesson with students in Susan Nelson's third grade class. The topic of the lesson was goals. Marshall worked with the students to determine helpful and harmful ways of trying to make friends.

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