Financial Aid

Graduate School Establishes Peter Greeman Scholarship Program

Posted by Nick Gray on March 12, 2013
Peter Greeman
Peter Greeman

Bank Street is pleased to announce that our Graduate School has been selected by Community Teachers Initiative (CTI) to establish a Peter Greeman Scholarship program. The scholarship will be granted to an incoming graduate student who commits to teaching upon graduation in a New York City public school in need of the kind of effective and exemplary teachers that Bank Street prepares. The scholarship will cover the cost of up to 45 credits of a Master’s program that leads to certification.

Lauren Smithson, currently in Bank Street’s Teaching Literacy: Focus on Classroom Teaching program, is the first recipient of a Greeman scholarship. Lauren discusses her journey and her work at Bank Street below.

Learn more about scholarships at Bank Street.

CTI is a non-profit organization that partners with colleges and universities to prepare teachers who are culturally connected to the communities where they will work and live. Says Timothy Greeman, President of CTI,

“It’s about being part of a community. Culturally-connected teachers possess an intimate knowledge of the social and cultural history and concerns of their students. We believe that Peter Greeman Scholars will combine this knowledge with the skills and knowledge they develop at Bank Street to enhance their students' educational experience. This approach will make a difference for kids, for teachers, and for communities.”

“We are delighted that Bank Street’s Graduate School has been chosen to prepare Peter Greeman Scholars to work in urban schools and communities in our city and in the surrounding urban areas where they are most needed,” said Virginia Roach, Dean of the Graduate School.

Lauren Smithson & Timothy Greeman
Lauren Smithson & Timothy Greeman

Dean Roach notes that the program will enable the College to strengthen its commitment to preparing teachers for urban classrooms. The scholarship, she says, “will make our programs accessible to graduate students with financial need who share our commitment to making great teaching and great teachers available to all children in urban public schools.” 

Peter Greeman, Timothy’s father, believed in community. Upon his retirement from a successful career in advertising, he pursued his lifelong interest in education and literacy. He bought Anderson's Bookshop, an independent bookstore in Larchmont, NY; tutored at Mamaroneck High School; and was Chairman of the Board of the predecessor of the Community Teachers Initiative.

“CTI is proud to establish the Peter Greeman Scholarship Program at Bank Street College as part of my father’s legacy,” says Timothy. “He was committed to the ideal of equity in education and of community commitment to that goal, and we are proud to carry on his work in partnership with Bank Street.”

Lauren Smithson, In Her Own Words

Lauren Smithson
Lauren Smithson

From an early age, I knew that working with children was my calling. When I was thirteen years old, I began volunteering as a Sunday School teacher in my local church. Having that experience started me on the path to where I am today: a second-year first grade teacher in a New York City public school.

Attending Long Island parochial schools for first through twelfth grade made me eager to experience the public school system. So when I began New York University in 2007, I was pleased that some of my initial courses gave me the opportunity to jump right in. Immediately I felt drawn to the endless possibilities that an urban educational environment offers. The struggles that many schools face were apparent, but I felt strongly that I had found my place in the NYC public school system. For four years I focused on learning the fundamentals and developing my craft under the instruction of knowledgeable and supportive professors.

In May 2011, I graduated from NYU with honors, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Childhood General and Special Education with a minor in English. This allowed me to receive my initial licensing in Early Childhood and Childhood General and Special Education. Upon graduation, I was offered a position to teach kindergarten at P.S. 212-Midtown West. This school, in partnership with Bank Street, continues to afford me many opportunities to develop my teaching and work closely with experienced staff.

After focusing on my teaching for a year and a half, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in literacy, while continuing to work as a classroom teacher at P.S. 212. Being in the field for a year made me realize that I needed more information and tools to support my students and provide them with a richer and well-rounded literacy curriculum. This spring (2013), I joined the Bank Street community. I am currently enrolled as a student in the Master’s of Science, Literacy Specialist program. In this short period of time, I have learned so much and continue to enjoy the hands-on and engaging learning environment that Bank Street creates.

I am fortunate to be the first recipient of the Peter Greeman Scholarship at Bank Street College.