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Wright State faculty member honored for efforts in Latino community

FAIRBORN – Wright State faculty member Jim Dunne received the Nuestra Familia 2016 Award from the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission for his work at El Puente Learning Center in Dayton.

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Dunne, associate professor of teacher education in the College of Education and Human Services, was honored as a non-Hispanic individual who encourages the inclusion of Latinos in Ohio and is committed to making Dayton a welcoming place.

Dunne has taught a graduate course for the last seven years, in which each student tutors one or two children at the El Puente Learning Center. These children range from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.

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“It’s engineered to be a practical teaching experience,” Dunne said. “It’s a good way for students to figure out how to teach better.”

El Puente is a program established from a combined effort between Dayton Public Schools and the League of Latin American Citizens.

While most El Puente students speak fluent English, some struggle with reading in the second language, and many parents of the children do not speak English fluently.

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“Teachers today will work with students from a variety of backgrounds,” Dunne said. “So students in my course receive valuable experience that will help them when they’re teachers. This is a wonderful experience.”

“I didn’t think I would win an award. I didn’t regard myself as award-worthy, but doing my job,” Dunn remarked. “But it is good, good work, and I’m pleased. I’m honored to be with the folks who have done incredible things.”


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