VERMILLION, S.D. -- Thirty-six students from The University of South Dakota worked with Vermillion’s Head Start organization. Through six different service-learning projects students designed and developed meaningful products that could be incorporated into the Head Start program.
The students, part of USD's "Family Systems and Professional Collaboration" class, created a marketing poster, brochures, a needs analysis and instructional kits for low income parents receiving services through Head Start.
Head Start was chosen as a community partner for the project because of the organization's commitment to and advocacy for parents.
Lory LaPointe, Ph.D., class instructor, incorporated service-learning into the class following a January workshop. She said, "I was amazed by the responsibility, creativity and maturity displayed by the students during this process. Once given initial guidance by a mentor from the Head Start staff, the students took ownership of their projects and developed and completed them independently," LaPointe added. "Having never used service-learning as a component in any class, I was thoroughly impressed by the level of authenticity, enthusiasm, and meaningfulness the process brought to my course. I will definitely include this as part of my coursework in the future."
This project was supported, in part, through a grant awarded to USD's Center for Academic Engagement from Learn and Serve America through the Midwest Consortium for Service-Learning in Higher Education and the Corporation for National & Community Service. Students participating included Mallory Anderson, Danielle Bahlmann, Joseph Barth, Chelsea Berens, Elizabeth Bohnenkamp, Darla Brandt, Angelica Briseno, Paulina Collins, Brooke Edman, Kole Faragher, Kimberly Frieberg, Abigail George, Kayla Hansen, Molly Hansen, Christine Hausman, Jeffrey Herrboldt, Kelly Horner, Sarah Jarding, Jessica Leader, Courtney Lerew, Maria Love, Abbey Mudder, Vanessa Nelson, Rebecca Packard, Megan Peitzmeier, Jessica Poarch, Alisha Reiffenberger, Andrea Rubendall, Amy Schaffner, Alicia Sferrazza, Erin Simpfenderfer, Brittany Sirovy, Sarah Vining, Justin Walker, Cori White and Jessica Wilson.