Back in 2002 I saw a posting in The New York Teacher with the above caption and it caught my eye. I went on to read a bit further...25 full tuition scholarships were available through the Fordham University Graduate School of Education and the Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation. If you met the qualifications (and I did, YIPPEE!) you could apply for an 18 credit sequence of six courses that would ‘expand your range of strategies used to teach reading and writing to young children with learning differences’. It targeted young readers at risk, students who may be struggling to overcome dyslexia.
I knew this program was for me. I was 100% sure that I was a perfect candidate, a sure match, an ideal applicant, a true contender. Well, you get the idea. And I was! I attended one of the open houses and met Dr. Joanna Uhry. She answered my questions and provided me with an application. That summer I attended the 31st Annual Summer Literacy Institute. The theme was Equity and Excellence in Early Literacy Education.
In January 2004 I gave a speech at my graduation ceremony. That's me on the left getting my certificate. By this time I had become a mentor to the next cohort of Cosby Scholars. The following year I entered the doctoral program in Language, Literacy and Learning and this past September I began teaching one of those six aforementioned courses for Cohort 7.
I mention this for two reasons.
First: This is an example of the blessings that seem to rain down upon us when we are following our bliss. One amazing experience led to another for me. And I am very grateful.
Second: Fordham and the Hello Friend Foundation are currently holding an ‘Open House’ at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus, 113 West 60th Street for Cohort 8. The remaining dates are: March 22nd, March 29th, April 12th, April 19th and May 10th at 6:00 p.m. For more information or to confirm attendance call Dr. Joanna Uhry at (212)636-6449 or visit www.fordham.edu/gse/cosby.htm.
This program changed not only my teaching life but my life in amazing ways. I am a better teacher because of the skills I learned in the program. If you meet the qualifications (a current, certified New York City K-2 teacher eager to learn) do yourself a favor and stop by. I’ll be there as well. Follow your bliss indeed.