Monday, February 26, 2018

Edison State Darke County Student Take Community Service Seriously

“This experience has really humbled me,” said one Edison State student. She was one of 49 Edison State Darke County Campus students who worked with kindergarten through seventh grade students in Empowering Darke County Youth’s After School Program (ASP) on the new Greenville Elementary and Middle School campus last fall. She wasn’t the only one, another student referred to it as an “extremely important and absolutely fantastic program.”

Edison State students taking Fundamentals of Communication courses on the Darke County Campus have the opportunity to work outside of their comfort zones for 26 hours during the semester. While the option is adaptable according to individual circumstances, students are encouraged to learn the value of communication by tutoring younger students who may be struggling with their academics. In most cases, this will be in the Empowering ASP, which is almost exclusively supported by Edison State faculty, staff, and students. Another 10 students, due to schedule conflicts, chose to work with children in their local districts or older citizens in health care facilities.

“Nearly all referred to the programs they chose as life-changing experiences,” said Bob Robinson, Communications Instructor for Edison State. “They look upon their efforts as a valuable service that has a big impact on the students and the community.” One student, in his end-of-semester evaluation, said, “I think it’s a good way for the community to recognize Edison State cares.”

While the tutoring (or alternative) option is the major one, Edison State communication students also have the opportunity to go into different Darke County school districts to talk to students about making the right decisions in their lives. In the fall, they talk to young people about bullying; in the spring, the topic is drug abuse. Their messages are age-appropriate for kindergarten through sixth grade. Over the years Edison State students have made presentations to kindergarten through sixth grade students in Greenville, Arcanum, Mississinawa Valley, and Ansonia.

“In ASP tutoring, I’ve had students who were scared to death the first time they found themselves waiting for a first, second, or other grade student to show up, looking for help,” Robinson said. “It didn’t take them long to realize it was the first day of building a new relationship with a young child.” One Edison State student even commented, “little people are actually pretty cool.”

“I am extremely proud of the work our students are doing in the community,” said Edison State Darke County Campus Executive Dean Chad Beanblossom. “The hours of service Edison State Darke County Campus students accumulate throughout the semester benefit the entire Darke County region. These individuals are making a positive impact on the future of our community.”

The Edison State student impact on the community each semester is substantial. During Fall 2017, 113 Edison State Darke County students provided 1,687.5 hours of service to the community. Most of the effort came from current communications students. Students from other Edison State Darke County Campus classes, both current and former, also participated.

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