Rio Grande, Ohio – Students in the University of Rio Grande’s Bunce School of Education are working to make a difference in Southeast Ohio. As part of this effort to support the community, Dr. Sangeeta Gulati’s Multicultural Relations class hosted a canned food drive to collect donations to divide between the Gallia County Food Pantry and Rio’s Helping Hands Food Pantry. Gulati said the class put a lot of effort into making the project a success.
“Every semester, the class does a service learning project to help those in need. The students decided a canned food drive would be best for this semester because they wanted to make sure people in our community had enough food this holiday season,” Gulati said. “The class has a motto of ‘Think Globally. Act Locally,’ which means to think of global issues such as poverty or hunger, and think of ways to help fight the problem in our own community and create awareness for the problem. I am so proud of the work they have done on this project. They are learning to be role models for their future students by understanding how to deal with societal issues and give back to their communities.”
The students in Gulati’s class set up drop-off boxes throughout campus to collect nonperishable items for the donations. Erica Turner, a senior early childhood education major from Waverly, said she enjoyed the opportunity to serve and show appreciation for the community.
“It was fun working as a class to put this project together to help our community. We wanted to focus this semester on providing for the hungry in our own community, so we thought a food drive would help a lot of families have a nice Christmas meal this winter,” Turner said. “We’re grateful to everyone who provided a donation for the food pantries. It’s a great feeling knowing we were able to do our part in the community. As college students, we’ve all had tight budgets at some point, and that makes us want to give back to the community that supports us. As future educators, we know hunger could affect one of our own students someday, so we want to spread awareness of ways we can end hunger in our own communities.”
Over the years, the class has hosted a variety of different donation drives to give back to the community including, a book drive for area elementary schools, coat drives, food drives, and even a pet supply drive for Friends of Gallia County Animals. Trevor Baker, a junior AYA social studies education major from Patriot, said he believes helping the community is an important part of teaching future generations.
“This has been a great opportunity to develop the teamwork skills we’ll need to work with other teachers and administrators in our careers to make sure students get the education they need,” Baker said. “Thinking of ideas for this project makes us more aware of the issues going on in our own community. As future educators, a big part of our job will be leading our students by example, so this project gives us the chance to learn how to take initiative to create awareness and work towards a solution to the issue.”
For more information on the Bunce School of Education, contact the Office of Admissions at (740) 245-7208.