School Days: Education Club shares the joy of learning
with local students
For the Saint Mary’s Education Club, learning is all fun and games. It was last week, anyway, as the club met in the Learning Tree, Saint Mary’s resource center for education students and area teachers, to create games and activities for children at a local primary school.
The club created educational games for students in kindergarten through grade three for an after school program in the New Prairie School district. Quinlan O’Grady ’10, president of the club says, “[The school doesn’t] have a lot of funds to purchase materials for the kids to use, so we’re donating all of the games that are made.”
The New Prairie school district is home to several under-funded schools that do not have the resources to provide certain programming for their students. “A lot of these schools are Title I, in very impoverished areas, and they don’t receive much funding for the programs that they try to run. So it really falls on the teachers to bring that stuff in for the students. We try to help out in any way that we can,” explains Quinlan.
Students find the Learning Tree, housed in Madeleva Hall, to be a great, cost-effective resource for classroom materials. “The prices are so low, these games tonight will each cost three dollars,” says Quinlan. “We think the Learning Tree is a great resource. We have all these games that we always make and we know that our students like them.” Club members created matching games and board games for the New Prairie school that focus on reading, math, and basic language skills.
For education majors and minors, service is another step on the path to becoming a teacher. “The education program at Saint Mary’s is definitely one of the best,” Quinlan says. “They get us out in the field placements so early. The professors are knowledgeable and they really challenge us. I feel very prepared.”
—Alicia Smith, '12