Area youth benefit from college’s service learning course
Written by TechPurdue // December 11, 2011 // Alumni & Friends, Business & Industry, Current Students, Faculty & Staff, Lafayette, Latest College News, Technology Leadership and Innovation // 3 Comments
Students from Purdue’s College of Technology at Lafayette had a busy final week of the semester with three special events benefiting area youth.
As part of their OLS 46700 Service Learning course, three groups identified area agencies that could use volunteer help for special projects. The groups chose Hanna Center, the Lyn Treece Boys and Girls Club and the Tippecanoe Arts Federation. The activities were partially funded by the Community Service Student Grant Program, facilitated by Purdue’s Office of Engagement
Lyn Treece Boys and Girls Club
A group of three students, led by George Leap, helped the Boys and Girls Club design and build the longest indoor train system in Lafayette. The final product, unveiled Dec. 7, is eight feet off the ground. Children at the club assisted with the project, and the organizers hope that it remains an educational tool for the kids and a source of revenue for the club through advertising opportunities.
“We had to raise money for the train system, including a grant from the provost’s office,” Leap said. “In OLS, you learn a lot about how to deal with people and manage projects. That carried over into this project.”
In addition to classroom lessons, Leap got his first exposure to community service.
“I’ve never really been involved in community service types of things. To have the opportunity through this project, I realized that you can make time for it,” he said. “It’s really not that hard. I’m sure I’ll stay involved with the club.”
See a slideshow of the train event on Flickr.
Another group of five students sponsored a Learning Carnival for kids at the Hanna Community Center Dec. 10. The four-hour event included educational games, face painting, a DJ, a speaker about bullying and its effects, breakfast and lunch, and a visit from Santa.
“Hanna does a lot with at-risk and under-privileged kids. We wanted to help let them know that they can learn and have fun at the same time,” said team leader Kelly High. “It’s something that’s very important.”
The group used their project management and communications skills to successfully plan the event, which High called a “great learning experience.”
“It’s a good class and it’s a good program. It does really teach you a lot, especially about things in life you don’t think about,” High said. “I’d like to be more involved in community service.”
Tippecanoe Arts Federation
The third service group focused their efforts on raising awareness and participation in the Tippecanoe Arts Federation After School Arts Program. A public reception and exhibition was held Dec. 9. Purdue students worked with students at Cary Home, Battleground Middle School, and Oakland and Jefferson High Schools to create T-shirts using personally created block print designs. Six Purdue students worked on the project.
“We wanted to offer these kids a positive creative outlet and give them self-confidence,” said team leader Eric Bruce. “We also talked with them about their interests and discussed possible professions where those could be used.”
The T-shirts were displayed at the reception, and Brown hopes that similar art projects will result in a public mural in the city.
The organizational leadership and supervision major requires an experiential component, which can be met by the OLS 46700 (Service Learning) course or an internship. Course objectives include applying classroom knowledge to a project, interaction with and learning from the community, mentoring and helping those in need, and providing an opportunity to reflect on experiences.
Michele Summers, professor of technology leadership & innovation, teaches the OLS 467 course at Purdue’s College of Technology at Lafayette.