Evergreen director receives Douglas Fellowship

Published: June 23, 2006

Magda Costantino, director of The Evergreen State College's Center for Educational Improvement, received the 2005 Douglas Fellowship from the Washington State Historical Society at the group's 115th annual meeting on June 17.

The Douglas Fellowship is presented to a person or group of individuals who have made significant contributions to Washington state or local history.

Costantino received the fellowship along with Denny Hurtado, who is the Indian Education Director for Washington's Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction.

The two received the fellowship for their leadership of the Northwest Native American Reading Curriculum project. The project has been in classrooms for more than a year and features original materials developed by Indian writers, artists and educators.

The project is based upon research both in bilingual education and a culturally relevant teaching style. The curriculum fosters reading and writing skills while it honors tradition, family and elders. The program is geared to incorporate images and concepts that Indian children can appreciate and non-Indian children can learn from.

The society says Costantino and Hurtado have been "determined to make a difference and infuse both elementary and middle school curricula with authentic documents that provide a basis for exploring multiple perspectives of our state's history."

Costantino is a native of the former Czechoslovakia and holds an M.A. in English and Spanish, a M.Ed. in Spanish and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. Evergreen's Center for Educational Improvement focuses on education reform in Washington and improving the learning of all children. The center's work also focuses on issues of educating English language learners and Indian learners.