WMU News

Education students support homeless shelter

Dec. 15, 2004

KALAMAZOO--A fall semester project taken on by a class of Western Michigan University students has come to fruition just as the Christmas season gets into full swing and the idea of giving to others takes on additional meaning.

The project has resulted in more than $5,000 worth of useful items being collected and donated to Housing Resources Inc.'s Eleanor Street Shelter in Kalamazoo to help area families that are homeless.

It developed out of WMU's ED 350 class, Young Children, their Families and Society, which gives future teachers a chance to study how society affects children. It also gives them a chance to participate in "academic service learning" by spending time at the Eleanor shelter, then creating and implementing a project to help homeless children and their families.

"These students really went out of their way to help and did a wonderful job," says Dr. Josephine Davis, assistant professor of teaching, learning and leadership and the instructor for ED 350. "Through their efforts, two other organizations also contributed to the project. The Perigo Pharmaceutical Supplies Co. in Allegan gave about $1,000 worth of items and the Fabri-Kal Co. in Kalamazoo gave about $500 worth of items."

Davis adds that all of the students who were instrumental in directing and leading the project are from Michigan. Their names and home towns are: Jana Kurtz of Plainwell, Josie Bongiorno of Stevensville, Ellen Mytty, of Westland, Emily Dombos of Kalamazoo, Lynette Guppy of Grand Rapids, Megan Wood-Schrantz of Jonesville, Jennifer Pickney of Sterling Heights, Chelsie Henson of Utica, Katie Valenti of Plymouth, Andrea Bielang of Paw Paw, Jared Wallace of Muskegon and Erin Turner of Marcellus.

For more information, contact Dr. Josephine Davis at <josephine.davis@wmich.edu> or (269) 387-3496.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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