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Mass Communication Students Team Up with It Takes a Village to Educate a Child

“Every child deserves to have a friend.” That principle is what inspired Sonia Marshall-Brown, wife of Iona alumnus and Board of Trustee, David P. Brown ’79, ’07MBA, to start It Takes a Village to Educate a Child (TAVTEC), a non-profit organization that aims to help different abilities students with their social and emotional development while engaging them in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) activities. The programs integrate students with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with typical learning students and has them work together to create projects as well as form relationships.

Iona students, including Marisa Pedron ’17, worked with Marshall-Brown as part of the Mass Communication Department’s Producer Craft class project to brainstorm ideas as well as create videos promoting the program. “Working with an outside company was a very beneficial experience to gain while still being in school,” Pedron said. “We have to learn what it takes to work with clients so we can take that knowledge back to the classroom – discuss the experience and how we can improve for next time.”

It Takes A Village to Educate A Child is hosting their first gala “Dancing with OUR Stars,” at the VIP Country Club in New Rochelle, N.Y., on Thursday, October 20, at 6:30 p.m. All proceeds will go toward the improvement of existing programs at TAVTEC and create more opportunities to help children develop their social and leadership skills, self esteem, ability to read non-verbal and verbal cues and become a viable independent member of society.

“Iona believes in the liberating power of education, which was evident while working with such passionate students who were committed to producing high-quality footage for the foundation,” said Marshall-Brown.
Founded in 1940, Iona College is a private coeducational institution 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan with a total enrollment of 4,000 students and an alumni base of more than 40,000 around the world. The College is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona's School of Business is accredited by AACSB International – a highly acclaimed distinction awarded to just 5 percent of business schools worldwide.
It Takes a Village to Educate a Child (TAVTEC) is a non-profit organization based in New Rochelle, N.Y. They offer cohesive social skills and leadership development along with Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math (STEAM) empowerment to “educate the whole child.” TAVTEC works closely with school administrators, teachers and Parent-Teacher Associations to create a seamless program that can be integrated with the school curriculum (if necessary) and employ STEAM concepts to stimulate an array of interests for students to explore. They assist our children in finding their niche, with the understanding that success bolsters confidence, a healthy self-esteem and creates a sense of self-worth in ALL children.