SWOSU Students Help OKC Elementary School


Members of the SWOSU SOEA recently helped renovate Adams Elementary School in Oklahoma City during Outreach to Teach. Helping from SWOSU were students (front from left): Pam Sarver, Sentinel; Casey McKay, Lone Wolf; and Deven Brandt, Chickasha. Back from left-Jamie Tait, Cordell; Destini Hampton, Clinton; Whitney Anders, Cordell; Toni Humphrey, Sentinel; and Heather-Jo Kelly, Duke.  

Southwestern Oklahoma State University Department of Education students recently traveled to Oklahoma City to participate in a Student Oklahoma Educator's Association annual service project by helping an Oklahoma City elementary school. 

"Outreach to Teach" is in its seventh year in the state of Oklahoma. Each year an underprivileged school is adopted by an organization and college students from around the state join forces to renovate the chosen school. 

This year SOEA visited John Adams Elementary school in Oklahoma City.  Projects completed included playground beautification and murals throughout the school's hallways, bathrooms and classrooms. Students at Adams Elementary were very excited to have their school fixed up. 

Deven Brandt, a junior at SWOSU majoring in elementary education, said how meaningful it was to see that the kids were so excited to have their school painted.

"It was a wonderful feeling to see and hear that we were making a difference in their lives," Brandt said.

Heather-Jo Kelly, a senior elementary education student, said the experience at Outreach to Teach has enriched her education.

"It was a wonderful opportunity to work hands-on in a school and see the joy on students' faces," Kelly said.     

On the following day, students also attended a professional development conference.  During one session of the conference, letters were read which had been written by the sixth grade students at Adams Elementary.

"The wonderful, heartfelt letters of gratitude those students wrote were an excellent reminder of why I want to become a teacher in the first place," said Toni Humphrey, a SWOSU graduate student of education.  "Opportunities like this remind us of how lucky we are to get to work with the brilliant and inspiring leaders of tomorrow."

The SWOSU chapter of SOEA is hoping to continue their participation in the "Outreach to Teach" for many years to come.