Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Early Childhood Education instructor makes impact in the classroom and in the community

By public relations student writer Madison Corbin

When Maryjo Flamm-Miller moved to Chillicothe 12 years ago, she had no intention of remaining a passive visitor to the town.  She proactively sought out creative ways to become an integrated and involved part of her new community.  She joined the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Project sponsored by the United Way of Ross County.  

“Both groups include a focus on literacy and education - passions of mine. Living in a small town
community affords many opportunities to meet and work with people equally passionate about literacy,” Flamm-Miller, an adjunct faculty member in education at Ohio University-Chillicothe, said.  Her efforts in each organization have proven successful.
In September, Flamm-Miller received a mayoral proclamation for “Forward Thinking Leadership” as president of the Chillicothe branch of the AAUW.  The honor came as a surprise to Flamm-Miller, but not to her fellow community members. 

In 2012, Flamm-Miller received the Irene Bandy-Hedden Community Leadership Award from the Ohio Department of Education.  She holds titles of program specialist for the Discovery Garden Family Playgroup and Dad & Me Adventures programs in Ross County, and has been an interventionist for South Central Ohio Job & Family Services for the last eight years. She was the visionary behind the after-school cultural arts program at Adena Elementary School.  She has also been a guest columnist for the Chillicothe Gazette in recent years.

When Flamm-Miller became an instructor in the early childhood education program at OU-C in 2007, her vibrant passion for the community meshed well with her role on campus.  Maryjo continually connects her community experiences with learning opportunities for her students.  Not only does she bring her outside knowledge into the classroom, but she takes the classroom outside into the world.    

“As a teacher, I have repeatedly seen the value of OU-C students interacting with families in our community. By working events and volunteering in programs, they expand their knowledge and sensitivities about what children need,” said Flamm-Miller.

In addition to encouraging their community service involvement, Flamm-Miller provides her students with tangible steps toward making a difference.  She practices an in-depth understanding of how community service benefits an individual’s character development and perception of their surroundings.

“Being with people who have curious minds is very stimulating, both socially and intellectually. Getting to know their stories and life experiences enriches my own. This is something I especially value about communities. Being an involved person allows me to contribute to, and benefit from, the social capital of Ross County. It makes life fun, too.”

Flamm-Miller is currently working to establish the Southern Ohio Storytellers Guild and the New Teachers Club for Early Childhood Education graduates in the early years of their career.  She demonstrates an unceasing dedication to her community, her students, and cultivating collaboration between the two for the best possible outcome.

“Because being exposed to diversity broadens our perspective and mindset, it’s important to me that OU-C students experience the world beyond Ross County, both virtually and personally. Technology helps us to have these experiences, and so does field work and travel. Like my students, I strive to take advantage of these exciting and innovative tools for learning.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on a wonderful story, Maryjo! You are an asset to our Child Development and Early Childhood Education programs at OUC.
I'm looking forward to more great things to come, Barbara Trube