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How Parents and Community Members Can Get Involved

Join us!  If you are interested in participating in any of the projects below, please contact us at smartspace@niu.edu.




Ways to Get Involved

21st Century Skills
The 21st Century Skills project includes videos that demonstrate examples of how students attain these skills in the classroom. We also have resources to help families continue building these skills with their children.

  • Use our resources to work with students to build these skills.

ACT Preparation
SmartSpace@NIU is working with Rockford Public Schools to find new and innovative ways to improve students' ACT scores, including online activities. The ACT Prep site provides information about the test, links to free ACT preparation materials, utilizes ACT practice tests, connects with NIU's ACT prep classes, and includes valuable tips from recent high school graduates.

  • Use our ACT resources to get information on the test and to help students prepare.

Common Core Technology Integration (CCTI) 
SmartSpace@NIU works to equip teachers and teacher candidates with the information and resources needed to implement the Illinois Common Core State Standards while integrating technology into teaching and learning. The CCTI project provides the key ingredients of effective technology integration and multidisciplinary learning in face-to-face, hybrid, and virtual educational settings.  These activities are incorporated into SmartSpace@NIU programming, primarily STEM Read and STEAMspace activities. 

  • Use our resources to work with students to boost literacy skills.

eTutoring pairs K-12 students with eTutors to help students receive individualized sessions that focus on literacy skills. eTutors are NIU teacher candidates who are trained to deliver quality tutoring services using innovative technology solutions.

  • Work with eTutoring to get students the individualized help they need.

STEAMspace integrates visual art and technology to meet the Common Core, English Language Arts, and Illinois Social Emotional Learning Standards for K-12 learners. The space is designed to remove the barriers and allow students to become more engaged and reflective on their own literacy skills and social-emotional development. Our goal is to help students build their self-confidence in their writing and multimedia creation abilities as well as their communication with others. Students collaborate in community-based art and literacy projects and can share and discuss their productions with one another.

  • Get students involved in collaborating with peers to discuss ideas, write together, and create art.
  • Volunteer at our events.

STEM Read chooses science fiction books with a basis in science, technology, engineering, or math. Students read the book and can participate in activities both in-person and online.  Programming online includes discussions, expert videos, interactive games, and creative writing projects to help students improve reading, comprehension, and science literacy skills.

  • Use our resources to work with students to enhance their learning and boost their literacy skills.
  • Attend our free events and meet other community members with children who have similar interests.