Galloway teacher Terry Dougherty featured in magazine and soon on TV

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Galloway teacher Terry Dougherty featured in magazine and soon on TV Galloway teacher Terry Dougherty featured in magazine and soon on TV

GALLOWAY – From a feature article in the November issue of Family Circle magazine to a television special, Roland Rogers third grade teacher Terry Dougherty is remaining in the public eye.

NJTV’s “Classroom Close-up” will feature Dougherty, a graduate student at Richard Stockton College, for tutoring children whose parents are in the military.

The special, “Schools Supporting Soldiers’ Kids,” will be on NJTV 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18, 5:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19 and 5:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21.

Dougherty, who is also an Atlantic County Teacher of the Year, winner of the Great American Teach-Off and a Coast Guard wife and mom, started a free program to help military children who change schools frequently and develop gaps in their learning.

She is a student in Stockton’s master of arts in education program. She also earned her bachelor’s degree in teacher education at Stockton.

She founded They Are Heroes Too! - a one-on-one, all-volunteer tutoring program free to children with parents in any branch of the armed forces, National Guard or Reserve.

The program, which was featured in Family Circle magazine, runs in the summers at Stockton. Tutors are teachers from Atlantic County school districts and college students who volunteer their time and gain experience.

“The program started out of my house,” Dougherty said. “As a teacher, I saw the children on my street and knew they needed help.”

From her home, the program expanded to the public library in Galloway.

As enrollment increased regularly, she decided to seek help from Stockton.

“I knew that Stockton College had a great reputation for community service,” Dougherty  said.

She turned to Daniel Tome, the college’s assistant director of service learning, who was interviewed for the TV show along with Dean Claudine Keenan of Stockton’s School of Education.

A film crew from Classroom Close-up, NJ, a co-production of the New Jersey Education Association and NJTV, went to Stockton in August to film the program in action and conduct interviews.

The Family Circle article, “Mom on Duty: Providing Free Tutoring to Military Children,” explains how her son, Tom, began fourth grade in a new school district and struggled with multiplication and division because his previous school hadn't taught them. Her daughter, Laura, had vocabulary problems.

“I hated feeling that I had sent my children to school unprepared,” Dougherty told Family Circle. “I could have worked with them ahead of time, had I known.”

A military wife for 30 years, Doughterty, 53, saw how transfers can interfere with children’s education.

Her husband, Tom, was transferred nine times in the Coast Guard. They moved about every three years. Laura attended seven schools, and Tom five.

“Academically, it was a challenge,” Dougherty was quoted in Family Cirlce. “Places have different curriculums - children can easily lag behind if they haven’t learned a subject in their old school.”

The Doughertys live in Egg Harbor Township.

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