Education students start something that matters
Winter is in full swing and many people, including members of the Penn State Brandywine community, are prepping for the holiday festivities while balancing an already hectic academic, and sometimes work schedule. Some Brandywine students, however, are finding additional time to give back in conjunction with their course work and reading the campus’ Common Read selection for the academic year, “Start Something That Matters.”
Supervised by their instructor, Jean McKay, instructor in curriculum and instruction, students in the Learning Literacy Education course (LLED 010) have formed four teams dedicated to making a positive impact on the community. Keeping with the holiday spirit and donation-driven tendencies of Blake Mycoskie, author of “Start Something That Matters,” three of the four freshmen teams organized a campus-wide collection of toys, hygiene products and used or broken electronics.
“I felt that it was very important to not only learn the content of the course, but to apply what was learned,” said McKay, regarding her students’ initiatives.
Donations of new toys, which will go to Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell’s annual Christmas party and distributed to the needy at the Philadelphia Convention Center on December 20, will benefit underprivileged youth in the area, while the everyday hygiene products (toothbrushes, feminine products and razors, e.g.) will be organized into care packages and shipped to United States troops serving in Okinawa, Japan. Electronics, broken or used, will be refurbished and donated to the Goodwill and World Computer Exchange, and then redistributed to underprivileged schools.
The fourth team decided to reach out on a more personal level by writing to at-risk middle school students and discussing the emotional trials and tribulations of middle school bullying.
“If we can make just one child happy, then we have accomplished something,” freshman Adamma Bradford said regarding her teams project. “You know that feeling you have as a child when you open a new toy? We wanted to share that feeling with underprivileged children and to children whose families cannot afford to give them new toys for Christmas.”
For additional information about these projects and a full list of requested items, contact Jean McKay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-by Clifford Welby, Bus 2010