UT community invited to work with grade school kids

October 16, 2014 | UToday, — Languages, Literature and Social Sciences
By Lindsay Mahaney

When asked her favorite part of working with kids from Chase Academy, Dr. Jeanine Diller, director of the UT Center for Religious Understanding, said it was their smiles.

An after school program is being offered for kids in fourth through eighth grade from Chase Academy this month.

On Thursday, Oct. 16, volunteers should meet at 4 p.m. in Nitschke Hall Room 1027 to make flashlights with the kids, and on Thursday, Oct. 23, they should meet at 4 p.m. in Health and Ed Building Room 105 on the Health Science Campus to divide into two groups, one making hand sanitizer with a UT professor of pharmacology, and the other learning to take vitals with instructors from the UT College of Nursing.

Volunteers are welcome to come to one or both programs. “We always need more chaperones to help the children experience college and learn while they are here,” Diller said.

In addition to inspiring grade school students to come to college, the project promotes interfaith collaboration. After serving, there is a brief reflection for the volunteers intended to bring together the various religious and ethical perspectives.

“The fundamental idea of the project is to create a double bottom line: make positive change occur on a community need, and inspire greater understanding about religious differences among the volunteers,” Diller said. “I hope that by the end people deeply get the fact that whether you are Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, Christian, Hindu, agnostic, you can and do value kindness, and value it enough to walk your talk about it.”

The program also will be offered next spring during February.

All volunteers are required to fill out a liability form.

The program is sponsored by the UT Center for Religious Understanding, the UT Interfaith Center, the UT Center for Experiential Learning and Career Development, and the UT College of Social Justice and Human Service.

For more information, contact Sabina Serratos, director of experiential learning and career development, at sabina.serratos@utoledo.edu.

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