UC Santa Cruz's New Teacher Center hosts 300 new teachers at Children's Discovery Museum October 21

Several hundred new teachers will be the guests of honor Monday, October 21, when the UC Santa Cruz New Teacher Center teams up with the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose to honor and encourage them at a festive reception at the museum.

More than 450 new teachers are getting support from the Silicon Valley New Teacher Center this school year, and the reception will welcome them and introduce the new teachers to the museum's interactive exhibits and staff resources.

"Research validates what we've known all along, which is that good teachers are at the center of successful education," said NTC executive director Ellen Moir.

The reception takes place from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Children's Discovery Museum, 180 Woz Way, in San Jose. Ellen Moir, executive director of the New Teacher Center, and Connie Martinez, executive director of the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose, will deliver keynote addresses. Teachers will learn about school-related programs and curriculum support offered by the museum, and they will enjoy hands-on workshops based on the museum's many interactive exhibits.

The UCSC-based New Teacher Center provides support for every new teacher by teaming up each novice with an experienced mentor teacher who helps them during their challenging first two years in the classroom. The program's success is evident in the retention rates: About half of all new teachers leave the profession within their first five years of service, while the New Teacher Project has a documented retention rate of 95 percent.

The New Teacher Center is dedicated to improving student learning by supporting the development of an inspired, dedicated, and highly qualified teaching force. The center serves 750 new teachers in 27 school districts through the Santa Cruz and Silicon Valley New Teacher Projects and the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. The Silicon Valley New Teacher Center opened in 2000 in the UCSC Extension Center at 10420 Bubb Road in Cupertino.

Since opening in 1990, the Children's Discovery Museum has been a unique center for learning and discovery for children, families, and schools. More than 4 million visitors have explored its interactive exhibits that invite self-directed, open-ended explorations.