By Emily Herrick, Staff Writer
The Kalikow Center at the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) has many materials available to offer education majors, children, and the community that many are not aware of.
UMF opened the Kalikow Center in January of 2007 when the Education Center opened. Molly Callahan, the on-site Library Specialist, was hired for this position in October of 2006. “That means I do a little bit of everything,” said Callahan. “In a nutshell, I manage the [Kalikow] Center and try to make sure everything runs smoothly.”
The Kalikow Center tries to provide books and materials that are appropriate for age’s birth through 20. “The Kalikow Center has over 6,000 books,” said Callahan. “We also have a wide assortment of assistive technology (AT), which is classified as any kind of tool that can help with a child’s education.”
Amber Gray, a junior and an Early Childhood Special Education major, works at the Kalikow Center as a library aid. “The Kalikow Center has [a lot] of assistive technology that can help students with special needs or disabilities,” said Gray. “These are not just for children who have special needs. All children can use the materials that the Kalikow Center has to offer.”
The AT that the Kalikow Center has ranges in size and difficulty. The Kalikow Center “ has puppets, games, puzzles, weighted vests, communication devices, musical instruments, and switch-operated devices,” said Callahan. “The Kalikow Center also has a Tandberg Unit (video conferencing unit) and a SmartBoard available for students to use.”
Children often come into the Kalikow Center and use the AT items. “Most of the children who come to the Kalikow Center are special needs children who come in with their case workers,” said Callahan. “The children and their case workers usually spend 1-2 hours exploring our AT items. We also have two iPads which have a lot of educational apps – the children love to use these too.”
The Kalikow Center has many tools available for education majors and teachers. “They can find books, assistive technology, art, science, and math materials. We also have Praxis I and II resources,” said Gray.
Education majors and teachers can also use the Kalikow Center to help make their classroom more resourceful. “Ed majors [and teachers] can gain an idea of all the items that are available to help non-traditional learners,” said Callahan. “If these Ed majors go on to be teachers in Maine, they can return to the Kalikow Center and check out AT items to try in their classrooms.”
The Kalikow Center is located in the Education Center. Their regular semester hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 – 6 and Friday 9 – 5. Patrons can also call the Kalikow Center with questions at 778-7895.