ABS intern focuses on equity, diversity, inclusion

Observer staff report

Sandra King, an aspiring teacher who was recently awarded by UVM for her commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in early childhood education, is spending the semester working with kindergarteners at Allen Brook School in Williston. 

A native of Westchester, N.Y., King is a junior in UVM’s Early Childhood Education program and plans to start work toward a master’s degree during her senior year. 

“We have had a long-standing partnership with UVM to provide a rich experience for their interns,” said ABS Principal Angela Filion. “In return, we get just as much value with them being a part of our learning environment. The Early Education Program as part of UVM is a nice complement to us, as we are a pre-K-2 school.”

Earlier this semester, King was presented with an Academic and Social Justice Distinction Award by UVM’s Mosaic Center for Students of Color and the College of Education and Social Services. King is also vice president of public relations and marketing for UVM Sisters of Color.

“Sandra is one of the most vibrant and positive students I have had the pleasure to work with over the years,” King’s advisor Jen Hurley said. “Our UVM community and the many local young children she supports benefit from her commitment to social justice and upbeat spirit.”

King’s favorite class at UVM is “Individualized Practice for Inclusion,” which focuses on the learning and development needs of children with, or at-risk for, disabilities and other diverse needs. 

“That course introduced so many strategies in my teaching practice,” said King. “Taking that class changed me as a teacher completely and filled my tool box to the brim … I feel prepared to go out and do my thing in the world.”