Outreach efforts earn alumna award from public schools

October 13, 2011

Dolly Ledin (Land Resources M.S. '88) has earned the Madison Metropolitan School District's 2011 Community Support Award for her efforts in establishing afterschool science clubs and Family Science Nights at UW-Madison's Institute for Biology Education. This annual award is given to a civic group, organization or agency for outstanding cooperation with MSCR (Madison School and Community Recreation) and its programs.

As coordinator of the Adult Role Models in Science (ARMS) program, Ledin formed a partnership with the MSCR afterschool programs six years ago, and the ARMS program now works with more than 350 children a year, in 13 elementary and middle schools during the school year and six in the summer.

The afterschool science clubs give students with an interest in science a place where that interest can be nourished and where they can connect with other kids who love science. Family Science Nights build on the activities of the afterschool clubs, giving families an opportunity to learn together. Parents can be positive role models in learning science, and children have the opportunity to be science experts and teach their parents and peers.

"If Dolly had her wish, science activities would be as common in afterschool programs as the traditional arts and crafts activities," says Afterschool Supervisor Jean Gascho, who presented the award. "With Dolly's help, MSCR afterschool programs are well on their way to making this wish a reality."

The ARMS program is one of many outreach, undergraduate and faculty/staff/future faculty programs at UW-Madison's Institute for Biology Education, a unit dedicated to fostering excellence and innovation in biology education on campus, in the surrounding communities and beyond.

Read more about Ledin's work and the award »