New this summer is a tutoring program for K-12 youth in the Wayne County community. It is coordinated by Ann Tobin, campus/community liaison in the Center for Service-Learning, and IU East student Katelyn Brown, who initiated it for an Honors service project. IU East education faculty Denice Honaker provided literacy trainer for 14 IU East students serving as tutors. Representing a variety of majors, these college students help 30 young students gain an understanding of reading, math, and science. They are Kristina Kier, Dillon Hildebrand, Sarah Hensley, Hope Alexander, Hannah Castor, Hope Peer, Coty Barrett, Kaylyn Flora, Trevor Boram, Alex Estes, and Heather Rastbichler. IU East science faculty Dr. Simran Banga also serves as a tutor and plans to coordinate an after-school science tutoring program beginning in Fall 2015.
Neither summer rain nor heat could stop the many hours and activities of tutoring and other service provided by IU East students! Housed in the Campus Library, the Center for Service Engagement coordinates service-learning and other outreach opportunities in our community region. In the summer of 2015 IU East students have engaged in more than 100 (!) hours of service each week. This week’s blog introduces you to a few of these students, what they are accomplishing, and their thoughts on the experiences.
With a strong interest in History and Social Studies, Hope enjoys talking with the seniors at Friends Fellowship as a “life enhancer” and particularly listening to their stories of WWII. “Working at Friends Fellowship has been incredibly interesting to me because the residents that I work with are a living link to history, which is what I am primarily studying. While I can read text books to learn the same things, I can listen to their stories and truly understand what the experience may have felt like. These residents can teach me more about wars and the politics of the last century than any book can, and for that I am so grateful. I hope to remember these stories and pass them on to my future students.”
Hope is putting her organizational skills to good use at the Grassroots Resource Center in downtown Richmond, working on projects such as the new Women’s Resource Center, and the “$500 project.” She shared some of the wonderful projects being funded, such as to repaint Richmond High School’s parking lot, and “Positive Tickets from Police Officers.” For that project police will give out positive tickets when children are “caught” doing the right thing, and these tickets can be exchanged for prizes. Hope also enjoyed her experiences with a “Slip-N-Slide” down Roosevelt Hill, painting murals on the sides of trash cans, and hosting a multicultural day.
Other highlights of her experiences were attending the Women’s Resource Network Information Day and a conference featuring Peter Kageyama, author of For the love of cities. Hope notes that “It has been a really eye opening experience to the changes that are underway in my community. Especially here in Richmond, I think it is great to see so many people investing time, energy, and money into our community with hope to make it a better and more lovable, (and loved) place to live.”
Sarah is spending time with both children and adults, so is gaining a diversity of experience. Her major is nursing and she observed that “This will help me so much in my first few years in my nursing career.” Sarah believes in the importance of service as a reciprocal benefit for individuals and communities. Through her service at the Boys and Girls Club, Friends Fellowship, and tutoring Sarah has learned that each contribution of time and work can have a large impact.
Dillon serves in the open learning lab at Ivy Tech Henry County in New Castle. He helps Ivy Tech students study for their GED, other tests, or homework. Dillon explained, “I had never really thought about what people go through when trying to get their GED. I didn’t understand the struggles they had with their personal and academic lives and how that working to get their GED was very hard for many students. Many students have a lot going on personally which affects their performance academically and I think we forget that a lot of the time. It has really opened my eyes to not being judgmental and really looking at a person as a whole individual and not just how they are performing in a classroom at a certain time.” Dillon has helped many students progress very well and realize their potential.
Heather Rastbichler – 12 hours (10 hours at Boys and Girls Club or Girls Inc + 2 hour tutoring):
“I am enjoying my service learning experience a great deal and feel almost like it is a class because I am learning so much. I really enjoy being at The Boys and Girls Club.” Heather interacts with children in the age range that she wants to teach when she completes her education degree. She shared, “I am getting to know them on such a personal level. This is very important to me because I think the most important job of a teacher is to know their students…This experience will help throughout the rest of my education and when I do become a teacher. I learn how to handle certain situations there that I might not have learned until I had a classroom of my own. I learn how to help children stay busy and keep bullying at a zero tolerance level.”