Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Class project allows future educators to put community service into action


Faculty member Jamie Harmount (left) as well as education students Hannah Jury, Ashleigh Morgan Gray and Carly Joseph used the holidays to become involved in a lesson about community engagement.

A class project has allowed students in an early education class at OU-C to make an immediate impact in their community and learn lessons that will last throughout their future careers as educators.

For the third straight year, students in the “Social Studies Methods” class participated in a silent auction to raise money for the OU-C Helping Needy Children fund, which supports area families during the holidays. This year’s auction raised approximately $580 for the worthy cause, with students in the class donating and purchasing the auction items.

It is a project with a purpose.

“We hold the auction because the study of social studies involves a person's responsibility to the community and our relationship with others,” said early education faculty member Jamie Harmount, who teaches the class and organized the endeavor. “It is a lesson not only for early childhood education college students but for the future young children they will be teaching.  My social studies students also learn about developing citizenship and taking pride in the work they do to help others in their community.”

The students gained important life lessons from the effort.

“Being a part of this event allows me to do what I can to make sure that some of the joy that they deserve is given to them. Raising money for such a wonderful event feels natural to me at this time a year, which should be a time of giving and to be thankful for all that you have in life,” said Hannah Jury, a graduate of Greenfield McClain High School.

“It brings my heart joy to know that we have potentially made the lives of children a little merrier this Christmas season. I hope to be a part of many events such as this that spread love and hope to those who need it most.”

Ashleigh Morgan Gray, a native of Douglasville, Ga., also was moved by the experience.

“The silent auction was an awesome event to  be a part of and a huge eye-opener for me. Our class of maybe 20 to 25 students came together for a humbling cause to give back to the community,” Gray said.

“I love giving back and supporting the community in which I live so it was a ‘no-brainer’ to participate in this event. The silent auction really inspired me in more ways than one. Once I saw how much money was raised by one small class, I realized this would be a great event to hold at my church, Zion Baptist Church. I plan to propose this to my pastor in the near future.”

Carly Joseph, a graduate of Zane Trace High School, appreciates the fuller understanding of the impact that students can make.

“I have learned that one idea or thought can initiate a large impact. Dr. Harmount told us about the silent auction, and we each wanted to take part, not knowing how large an impact or how much money we would bring in.”

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