Through their participation in coat drive, Penn State students learn to be teachers

Hadas Kuznits
February 13, 2020 - 6:15 pm
Coat drive at McClure Elementary School.

Hadas Kuznits/KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Pennsylvania State University teacher candidates learned how to work with children through a coat drive Thursday for over 500 elementary school kids in Hunting Park.  

Emonni Esquilin, 9, found her new winter coat at her elementary school where Penn State Abington students held a coat drive.

"I like it because it can go over my sweater," the 9-year-old said. 

Now, she says she won’t be cold anymore this winter.

"I had (a coat) but it got lost somewhere in the school," she explained.

Teacher candidates had gathered over 500 gently used coats, and teacher-in-training Stephanie Andrioli says they partner with McClure Elementary School as part of their service learning curriculum.

"It’s very important for teachers to know that you have to meet students where they are before you can teach them. So their basic needs need to be met before you can teach them the content in the classroom," Andrioli said. 

Coat drive sponsor Ann Martinelli says valuable lessons are learned when students are paired one-on-one with a student teacher.

"And they can't teach them until they have all of their basic needs met and so this is meeting their basic needs. So this is an authentic opportunity that really teaches our Penn State Abington teacher candidates how to work with kids," Martinelli said.