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DPS Celebrates 105th Birthday of an Inspiring Educator | Denver Public Schools
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DPS Celebrates 105th Birthday of an Inspiring Educator

Sep. 27, 2017
 

Sept. 27, 2017

Contact: Jessie Smiley, Senior Media Specialist, Jessie_Smiley@dpsk12.org

District highlights “Each One Teach One” early literacy achievements with Marie L. Greenwood Academy’s namesake

Denver – At 105, Marie L. Greenwood, namesake of Denver Public Schools’ (DPS) Marie L. Greenwood Academy, is highly regarded for breaking down racial barriers throughout her storied career in the school district. She began her teaching career at Whittier Elementary School in 1935 as one of the first African-American school teachers in Denver and remains very active in the DPS community.

On Wednesday, DPS honored Ms. Greenwood with a luncheon to celebrate her monumental 105th birthday, which is on Nov. 24, and to highlight the Each One Teach One program at Marie L. Greenwood Academy. The author of “Every Child Can Learn,” Ms. Greenwood has guided educators throughout her career in the importance of early literacy programs such as Each One Teach One (EOTO), which aims to improve early literacy by building vocabulary through hands-on community projects. Students in the initiative participate in experiential learning projects, like utilizing architects’ tools to design their new school garden as a way to build topical vocabulary and ultimately improve their literacy.

Greeted by EOTO students, guests were welcomed to the celebration with stories from the EOTO summer program bike rides, new vocabulary words learned from recent books, and facts about the produce grown in their garden and prepared for lunch.

“It’s really exciting to see these kids amplifying their vocabulary by using new, more robust, descriptive words – not just as synonyms for words in the books they are reading, but to help them explain the concepts they are learning about,” said Deputy Superintendent Susana Cordova of the event.

The excitement students have for openly sharing their thoughts and feelings through the new words they have learned reflects the lasting impact Greenwood has had on these students – beyond having her name on the building, she has inspired a love of learning.

“Great teachers are always learning and sharing their learning with others,” said Superintendent Tom Boasberg. “It was wonderful to hear from sixth-grade students Allie and Melanie about what’s it like to learn how to teach other students through the Each One Teach One program here at their school. It is a fitting testament to the legacy of the school’s namesake, Ms. Greenwood.”

As a birthday gift, the students serenaded Ms. Greenwood with a choreographed rendition of India Arie’s “Better People,” before she chimed in to sing a verse of her own.

“This is an honor I never dreamed I would ever have,” said Greenwood, wearing the feather boa and birthday sunglasses gifted to her by the students. “Since I know my days are limited, this is going to be one of the biggest days that I have ever had. Thank you.”

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