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Learning Tree provides teaching resources

Alicia Smith | Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Recently relocated to a new facility on the first floor of Madeleva Hall, the Learning Tree offers a variety of resources for students, teachers within the community and the general public.

“Our new location offers a larger workspace. It’s much brighter and cheerier. It’s a good working environment,” Jayne Fogle, director of the Learning Tree, said.

The Learning Tree provides games and learning materials that can be borrowed or purchased for a low cost. According to Fogle, the Learning Tree was started by a group of teachers in the 1970s as a South Bend school program. The program was moved to Saint Mary’s College in 2001.

This fall, the facility was relocated from the third floor of Madeleva Hall to the present location on the first floor of Madeleva Hall.

“Education majors come into the facility to make projects for their education classes and also then to use when they’re out in the field,” Fogle said.

The Learning Tree specializes in making educational games that help teachers make learning fun, Fogle said. Students have the opportunity to visit the resource center and either make or purchase games for the classroom. 

According to Fogle, Games are easy to make and cost between $1.50 and $2.50.
“The games would break down skills. We may design a game to break down a skill so a student can understand the concepts,” Fogle said.

The facility also offers lamination for a nominal fee.

“We have a laminator that can laminate up to 24 inches wide and we have book binding machines to bind individual stories, class books or term projects,” Fogle said.

Fogle said some other resources the center offers include poster printing, resource books, textbooks and a die cut machine.

“It cuts out designs and letters which  can be used for bulletin boards and learning games,” she said.

The Learning Tree also features a work area with tables where students can spread out their work.

“The work areas are available for them to work here. We have all the supplies to make all these different items,” Fogle said.

The Learning Tree is open to the public each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. Extended hours are available for students.