Hometown Heroes Four WKU Professors

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By Ka'Seana Blanton | 

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Sometimes it takes a little extra time to work with students on the more difficult subjects, and that's exactly what four WKU professors have been doing with their extra time.

Students of Bowling Green City Schools gathered at the Gatton Academy on WKU's campus, ready to learn.

"They're always excited to go on a field trip, they learn so much more than what we think they do. They always include in their journals how exciting they are, and you'd be surprised at what they learn," said Judy Glass, the Curriculum Consultant of Bowling Green City Schools.

Through a program called BRIDGES these children have the chance to excel in relationships, Math, and Science.

"If you plant the seed early, you'll gain a bigger harvest and that's what we want to do with BRIDGES. The emphasis is on building relationships, but it's also on providing core content, higher order thinking skills for kids," said Glass.

And it's four professors from WKU; Dr. Gelderman, Dr. Kessler, Dr. Gott, and Dr. Lebedinsky dedicating their spare time to teaching these young ones.

"They haven't learned how to be students yet, they're still naturally curious. All the first years of their life, everything they've learned, they've learned from figuring it out. Not sitting in a desk and being told what was the truth; but just from experimenting, looking around at nature and checking stuff out. So working with these really cleaver second graders gives us a chance to build on that," said Dr. Gelderman.

They say it's important to plant these subjects into students while they are young, and of course make it fun.

"We somehow loose the battle of mathematics with students as they get older. The idea that I have is just that the firmer we can plant that notion, that math is doable and it's fun into their brains as young kids, the better chance I hope that they hold onto that as they get older," said Dr. Kessler.

The BRIDGES Program is more than thankful to have these four professors helping their students learn in a unique way.

"Rarely do you see professors from the university teaching primary children, and I think they just as much fun as they kids did. They were just excellent classroom teachers and we've all benefited greatly from having them," said Glass.

For dedicating their time to help students grow in Math and Science, we honor; Dr. Gelderman, Dr. Kessler, Dr. Gott, and Dr. Lebedinsky as this weeks Hometown Heroes.

The BRIDGES Programs has been in place for five years now. Groups of students attend the program every Friday at the University.

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