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A new College of Education outreach initiative is enlisting the help of student organizations to improve the lives of students in high-needs schools.
AuburnVoices coordinates with student groups within the college to focus efforts on advocacy and outreach. Student leaders work to identify projects they would like to sponsor and assist through monetary or material donations.
AuburnVoices is in the process of coordinating a number of different projects to help K-12 students in Notasulga. In addition to collecting donated musical instruments, AuburnVoices has also worked with College of Education student groups to raise money for classroom supplies like maps, calculators, books and printer cartridges.
Dr. Jamie Carney, professor and coordinator of community agency counseling, said her goal as Auburn VOICES' faculty advisor is to help student organizations understand the nuances of fundraising and relationship building with community partners.
"Often, students have the initiative, enthusiasm and desire to do these things, but they don't have an idea of where to start or how to do it,'' Carney said. "Student organization leaders have really taken this [project] to heart.''
Carney works in conjunction with Dr. Lynne Patrick, associate professor of educational leadership, who is the College of Education's liaison with Notasulga. The project is also supported by the Dean's Office, through Dr. Peggy Dagley's work with student leaders as the college's Director of Professional Education Services. "AuburnVoices would not exist without the personal and professional commitment of Dean Kochan,'' Carney said. "She has continued to be focused on preparing future educators who are advocates and leaders in their schools and communities.''
Carney became interested in helping Notasulga schoolchildren after visiting the high school and learning that the maps being used in social studies classes were more than 40 years old. The College of Education's Student Council and Iota Delta Sigma, the Auburn chapter of the international counseling honor society Chi Sigma Iota, have already raised the necessary funds to provide materials for three projects. AuburnVoices hopes to present assorted musical instruments to Notasulga High School in March.
Kathy Robinson, a graduate research assistant in the Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling/School Psychology, has met with leaders of seven different student groups within the college to build awareness about the needs of Notasulga students and the power that Auburn's future educators have to build better futures for them.
"We have students involved, we have faculty involved,'' said Robinson, who serves as a graduate assistant advisor for student organizations. "Everybody is working as a team. We're advocating with and for them.''
Check out Auburn student Ashley Jennings' video about AuburnVoices on the Auburn Family social network.
Last Updated: May 17, 2011