Peru State Students Lending Their Hands, Talent to Community
In honor of the Peru State College 33rd Presidential Inauguration for Dr. Daniel Hanson, students are participating in several community service projects throughout Nemaha County.
On Monday, March 22, about 35 college students visited Calvert Elementary School to read and listen to the four classes of second graders. The partnership with the school was one of seven projects the college has and will do in this community.
Calvert Principal Sharon Pollard said part of the reasoning for the visit was to help build the students’ reading fluency rates and to help them work on their comprehension skills.
The second grade teachers at Calvert are Tia Miller, Shannon Cole, Cindy Cole and Diane Shaw. Calvert has about 64 second graders.
Pollard also told the college students that their visit was very important to the children and for 45-minutes the visitors would become heroes. She added that for some of the children that one-on-one time would be the only time during the week they would be read to or listened to, outside of school.
The visit to the elementary school is part of the college’s Peru Students Care – An Inaugural Service Initiative, which is being spearheaded by PSC First Lady and Service Project Chairwoman Elaine Hanson and PSC Residence Hall Director Seth Bingham.
Through the volunteerism, the students have and will focus on seven projects as a way to give back, Hanson said. Five projects will have been completed prior to the inauguration and the remaining two to be done after.
The projects the students are helping with are:
• A letter-writing campaign in support of Bread for the World on March 18-19. Hanson said 128 letters were written to Congress members in support of making changes in U.S. tax policy that would be beneficial to low-income families.
• Also, last week, the students held a Campus Clean-Up, with the students volunteering about 66 hours of labor.
• On Sunday, March 21, several students were to make a trip to Brownville to complete a landscaping project at the Flat Water Folk Art Museum.
• On April 15, the students will host the Peru State College Leadership Conference.
• And, students will help on April 30 and May 1 with a repairing project for the Peru Historical Society.
Service team members helping with the projects are PSC students Tristan Bassinger, Grant Cole, Kristen Husen, Alicia Miller and Fred Whitted. Cindy Newton and Laura Osborne are helping as community members.
Hanson said about 275 students have volunteered for one or more of the projects. She said several coaches have asked their players to participate in this opportunity.
“(The students) want to give back and be a part of this,” Hanson said. “And, they show up.”
The initiative, Hanson said, has been student driven and the planning of and completion of the projects will have taken just seven weeks from start to finish.
The committee, she said, initially began with 16 project ideas that were eventually narrowed down to the selected seven.