Honors students at The U reach out during Interest Day

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota’s first-year Honors Experience students reached out to Jolley Elementary School students during a service-learning project on Veteran’s Day. The event, called “Interest Day,” included close to 380 elementary students who learned about interests and careers from invited speakers.

Speakers addressing Jolley students during Interest Day included topics on card making and astronomy as well as a visit from USD football players. Since early October, the two Honors Experience classes, taught by Susan Hackemer, Honors Associate Director at USD, and Sarah Wittmuss, director of The U’s Center for Academic Engagement, developed a service-learning project with Barb Schwartz, a counselor at Jolley School, and the staff at Jolley. Honors students from USD also gave presentations at Jolley classrooms the last week in October encouraging students to learn more about their career interests and about Interest Day on Veteran’s Day.

The Honors Program courses help students learn more about working as a team, being an active part of their education and connecting to the surrounding community.  Shari Fischbach, a  first-year student from Mellette, S.D., said, “I thought Interest Day was a fantastic way to not only get to know our fellow Honors students better, but to also get involved in the community we’ll be spending the next few years in.”

Funding for the event was provided by a grant from the Center for Academic Engagement through the Midwest Consortium for Service-Learning in Higher Education Learn & Serve funds. Download a photo of USD football players visiting with Jolley student.