Creating a carnival for the students of Ruby Van Meter with the help of the Office of Community Engaged Learning.

Our First Year Seminar (Portrayal/Mental Illness) is on the portrayal of mental illnesses and disabilities in the media. We could read magazine articles and watch news segments, but instead we have a service-learning project that gives us a chance to learn more about persons with disabilities while also interacting with students at a local school, Ruby Van Meter.

Our first time going to the school, we actually planned a carnival for a homecoming celebration! We used our service-learning grant money from the Office of Community Engaged Learning to purchase prizes and to help us build games for the students to play. We had so many activities, from tattoos to tic tac toe and from fishing to pie in the face! We worked to modify our activities to include all the students and we had a blast! Without the grant we received, we never would have been able to put on a carnival this big or this fun!

We now go to the school by ourselves once a week. Our experience at the homecoming carnival gave us the ability to go as a class and feel more comfortable going to Ruby Van Meter. We met students outside of a normal classroom setting which helped us get to know some of the students before we started our time in the classroom. We so appreciated the opportunity that was given to us through this grant to allow both us and the students at the school to have so much fun together!


Written by Mady Nactman