The purpose of the Maya Angelou Institute is to improve child and family education through community partnerships, program development and implementation, professional education and research. The Institute initiates interdisciplinary collaborations within the Winston Salem State University community, with Winston-Salem Forsyth County public elementary schools and community service organizations. The intent of the Institute is to mount initiatives designed to give children and families the tools needed to thrive educationally, socially, physically, and psychologically.
- Increase the academic achievement of underperforming students at the elementary school level.
- Promote family reading by providing books to children from pre-K through third grade.
- Provide opportunities for young children to engage in activities that promote music, art, and dance appreciation as part of a holistic educational experience.
- Engage children and families in community programs that support their growth and development.
The Maya Angelou Institute for the Improvement of Child and Family Education was established in 1998 under the auspices of the WSSU Division of Education (now the School of Education and Human Performance) as a community-based comprehensive center "created to help families take a proactive approach to helping children become productive citizens."
Since its inception, the Institute has provided the following services:
- Community outreach (e.g., matching WSSU students with community agencies as interns and tutors; developing family-school-university partnerships with local schools and other community agencies).
- Live, interactive videoconferences in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, and the UNC Chapel Hill School of Public Health.
- Programs/activities including the Historical Context of Development series and the Women's Symposium.
- Research studies (e.g.,Family Breast Cancer Education project and Partners for Academic and Social Success- PASS).
- Clinical internships in the five-star rated Childhood Development Center and Lab School (CDC & LS).