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PEORIA - Selected Illinois State University Students are ‘stepping-up’ in Peoria.

The Summer Teacher Education Partnership for Urban Preparation, otherwise known as STEP-UP, is a four week internship for ISU students planning to go into teaching.

The purpose of the program is to prepare students for urban teaching environments.

STEP-UP fellow and Dunlap native, Erika Barber, says the program helps promote community engagement. 

“I think it’s very important to know the community and where we are from and try to involve that inside of the classroom. So I thought this would be a great way for me to get involved.”

Superintendent of District 150, Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat says it is critical to teach students these skills to prepare them for the 'real world.'

“It’s different work, it’s good work, but it’s intense work. We have to know what we are getting into and we also have to prepare our teachers and make sure they have the right tools, the right mindset, frame of mind, and understanding for their community.”

The STEP-UP program is just one of the many initiatives District 150 is doing to help combat the national teacher shortage.


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