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Education Prof Awarded Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grant

July 16, 2019

Dr. Lesley Casarez of Angelo State University’s graduate education faculty has been awarded a 2019 Literacy Grant by The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi to help fund the implementation of a new social emotional learning (SEL) program at San Angelo’s Lee Middle School.

Dr. Lesley Casarez, asst. professor of curriculum and instructionDr. Lesley Casarez, asst. professor of curriculum and instruction
The $2,499 grant will go toward purchasing the curriculum for the “Rebels Excel at SEL” program at Lee Middle School. Casarez, the ASU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi and Lee Middle School have teamed up to implement the program that will encourage teens to excel and prevent problem behaviors.

The “Rebels Excel at SEL” program will take place on Fridays during student club time and will teach relationship skills, self-awareness and self-management to nearly 1,000 Lee students, faculty and staff.

“I am so excited for this program to be implemented in a local school,” Casarez said. “It will allow relationship skills, self-awareness and self-management to not only reach the students and staff at the school, but hopefully they will carry those skills on to their friends and family members to extend the skills to the greater community.”

Casarez is one of only 13 Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grant recipients nationwide for 2019. The winning projects were selected based on the proposed project’s scope, student and community involvement, impact, duration and ability to achieve success. Literacy Grants are awarded annually to help fund projects ranging from traditional reading initiatives to those fostering learning in cultural, digital, financial, health, historical literacy and beyond.

An ASU faculty member since 2013, Casarez is an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction. She leads ASU’s nationally recognized online Master of Education in guidance and counseling and Master of Science in professional school counseling degree programs. She is president of the ASU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, past-president of the Texas School Counselor Association, which named her Counseling Educator of the Year in 2015, and has been recognized as one of San Angelo’s “Top 20 Under 40” citizens. She also received the ASU Alumni Association’s 2018 Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award. She holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Texas Tech University.

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