Educator donates to KSU's Teacher Resource & Activity Center
KSU’s Teacher Resource and Activity Center, located in the Bagwell College of Education…
(Sep 20, 2010) —
KSU’s Teacher Resource and Activity Center, located in the Bagwell College of Education,
will have hundreds more children’s books, puppets and other resource materials thanks
to an educator who devoted her life to teaching kindergarten. Arleen Taffel taught
elementary school for 40 years and recently died after a long fight with ovarian cancer.
She was 61.
But Arleen Taffel’s legacy will continue at TRAC. Her family donated the materials
she used to teach young kids about the weather, good manners and every holiday. There
are also several copies of her favorite book, “Kindergarten Rocks,” by Katie Davis.
“That was her motto,” said Marty Taffel, her husband of 36 years. “She used silly
songs, puppets and dances to make learning fun.”
Many of KSU’s student teachers worked with Taffel at Marietta’s Mount Bethel Elementary
School. Those students who want to follow in her footsteps are using TRAC to find
the resources they need for class projects and student teaching assignments. Located
on the second floor of the Bagwell College, the center has a library, workroom, and
TRAC is open to KSU students, faculty, staff and local educators to use free of charge.
There is a nominal fee for materials. “We have parents who home school their children,
pre-school teachers, church teachers and educators from North Atlanta area visit TRAC,”
said Diana Poore, center’s director for the past 20 years. Each year more than 40,000
people visit the resource center.
The library offers more than 10,000 books, 1,500 DVDs and 500 activity kits and games.
There is an extensive collection of education journals, peer-reviewed periodicals
and teacher textbooks for every subject and grade level. “TRAC started with just
enough to fill three tiny bookcases,” Poore said. “My office was so small I could
only fit a student desk and the bookcases. Now it’s grown to more than 4,000 square
The center’s production workroom contains equipment educators can use to create projects
and decorate bulletin boards in their classrooms. There are book binders, laminators,
paper cutters, button makers and a full-color poster printer.
In TRAC’s activity section, students and educators find microscopes, an erupting volcano
and a small skeleton. Doug Bell, assistant professor of early childhood education,
takes his students to the center several times a week. He uses giant-sized teeth to
demonstrate how student-teachers can teach first graders how to brush their teeth.
“There are so many valuable resources in here,” he said. “Many of the tools they need
to help children learn are right here.”
Other universities have created similar centers. “My dream is for TRAC to be the model
for teacher centers across the country,” Poore said. “Educators can find everything
they need in one place.”
In addition to the donation to TRAC, the Taffel family is establishing an endowed
scholarship in her memory for students pursuing teaching degrees at KSU’s Bagwell
College. “This is exactly what she would have wanted,” Marty Taffel said. “She loved
working with young teachers. Arleen would invite them to our house over the summer
so they could prepare for the school year.”
To find all the materials she used in her classrooms, Arleen Taffel visited The School
Box several times a week. The president of the teacher’s supplies store facilitated
the Taffel’s donation to KSU. The School Box also contributed $500 worth of educational
kits to TRAC.
Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Teacher Resource & Activity Center
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.