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DATE: April 6, 2005

$10,000 gift will provide scholarships for UM-Dearborn students who are planning to become early childhood teachers

DEARBORN---Helen Van Tiem knows how important good teachers are for young children from her years as education coordinator of the Child Development Center and as a supervisor of student teachers in the School of Education at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Now Van Tiem and her husband, Judge Thomas A. Van Tiem, have given $10,000 to establish an endowed scholarship for students in early childhood education at UM-Dearborn.

"The purpose of the scholarship is to ensure that early childhood education receives the emphasis it should have in academia and the community at large," Van Tiem said. "It is our hope that this scholarship will promote the essential learning environment for young children."

The Van Tiem scholarship will provide a minimum of $500 per year to support a UM-Dearborn student majoring in early childhood education, with selection based on both merit and need. The first scholarship will be awarded this fall.

Helen Van Tiem received her master's degree at UM-Dearborn and has remained involved with the campus's Child Development Center ever since. She was a teaching assistant at the center from 1983 to 1986, and teacher and education coordinator from 1986 to 1994. In addition to providing care for children between one and six years old, the CDC is a teacher training and child study facility for UM-Dearborn students enrolled in a variety of education and psychology courses.

In addition to her work with the CDC, Van Tiem has been active in the School of Education alumni group and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996.
Judge Van Tiem is a former judge in the Wayne County Court of Common Pleas and 36th District Court now serving as a visiting trial judge in Michigan, as well as an arbitrator, mediator and administrative law judge.

"Helen and Tom Van Tiem in their two distinguished careers have been friends of children for over 40 years, and their most recent gift is a continuation of this generosity," according to John Poster, dean of the UM-Dearborn School of Education. "With this gift, generations of children will benefit from their kindness."

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