Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Education Village Celebrates Five Year Anniversary

Jacob Gifford
The entrance to the Education Village Building.

On April 6, Winona State hosted an open house event to celebrate the 5-year anniversary of Education village. This celebration was held to showcase the importance that Winona State places on the education of future generations as well as to engage the community and truly show what goes on there.

Education Village was an edition that was made to Winona State that officially opened its doors in the fall semester of 2019. Shortly after this, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and disrupted many people’s lives. This celebration of the 5-year anniversary also doubled as a relaunch of the idea of Education Village.

At this celebration that brought the community and the campus closer together there were activities for people of all ages to participate in. These activities ranged from face painting and sidewalk chalk to obstacle courses to giving out free books to people, there were many activities that were geared toward children, but there was truly something for everybody at this event.

Ellie Brezinka, a first year Communications, Arts, and Literature Teaching Major at Winona State, was one of the people who helped at this event to bridge the community and the campus.

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“I loved seeing the kids excited to read. It’s great that we got to provide an opportunity to not only get books, but to make it fun by personalizing it to them,” Brezinka said.

The importance of this event extends far beyond just celebrating Education Village because inviting the local community and beyond to take a look at this integral part of campus has more significance than just a simple celebration.

Not only was this event to help bridge the community to Winona State, but the Education Village was meant to function as a bridge between the community at large and the Winona State Main campus. This event was partially to help build up that bridge, and to make it even stronger than it has been in these past 5 years.

Scott Sorvaag, the Dean of the College of Education, did a celebrity story time at this event, and finds that Education Village means more for Winona State beyond just housing the education programs.

“Even though we are sort of offset from main campus, we’re still a part of campus. So, we consider ourselves an island with a bridge to the mainland, but really, we think about ourselves as central to the vision and mission of the University,” Sorvaag said.

This bridging of the community to Winona State is a part of the original purpose of the Education Village that got cut short when the trying times of COVID hit. For many people this event was a redo of what could have been when the doors of Education Village officially opened in 2019, and a restatement of its purpose. This event and its various activities were important to build up Winona State’s relationship with more than just its students, but people from Winona and further.

“I went from one end [of the event] to the other, and I talked to as many people as I could, and it was a wonderful event. I mean, when you get to show people what you’re proud of and what we’re proud of and they get to enjoy that energy, and really find some joy in this, this is the work we’re doing,” Sorvaag stated.

Education has always been at the center of Winona State since it was founded as the first normal school west of the Mississippi River. No matter the changes have come to Winona State over the past years this celebration of Education Village shows the commitment of the campus in progressing forward while also still upholding the importance of educating the next generation of teachers.

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About the Contributors
Alayna Majkrzak
Alayna Majkrzak, News Reporter
Alayna Majkrzak (she/they) is a first-year at Winona State University and is a news reporter here at The Winonan. Majkrzak is a CALT (Communication, Arts, and Literature Teaching) major and is minoring in theatre.   In their spare time, they enjoy crocheting, reading and writing. Though, all these activities are preferably done in a comfortable sweater while listening to their favorite playlist or watching Ghost Adventures. Back at home, Majkrzak was involved in their school newspaper for four years, and they are incredibly excited to continue their passion for honesty through journalism in college.  
Jacob Gifford
Jacob Gifford, Features Writer

Jacob Gifford (They/He) is a photographer and a features writer for the Winonan and started in fall 2023. Jacob is in his third year at Winona State and is studying Psychology with a minor in Philosophy and Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies.

Besides working for The Winonan, Jacob is also the Vice president of Philosophy Club at Winona State.

In his free time, Jacob enjoys hanging out with friends, longboarding, playing videogames, and writing and playing music. Jacob also enjoys going to concerts of local bands.

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