BHSU students spend Spring Break volunteering in Colorado

Author: BHSU Communications/Monday, March 27, 2017/Categories: 2017

Black Hills State University students helped educate third grade students at BHSU partner school Eva R. Baca Elementary in Pueblo, Colo. during the BHSU Alternative Spring Break. The BHSU students taught the third graders principles of science and fostered pride in their hometown through a Pueblo history project.

Black Hills State University Students filled food orders at the Food Bank of the Rockies during Alternative Spring Break in Colorado recently.

A group of 12 Black Hills State University students recently spent their Spring Break volunteering in Colorado at an elementary school, a zoo, and a food bank.

Karlee LaFountain, an elementary education major from Casper, Wyo., said the overall goal of the Alternative Spring Break was to visit students at BHSU partner school Eva R. Baca Elementary School in Pueblo, Colo. Baca Elementary is part of the "No Excuses University" Network of Schools with a belief that all children, even those that live in poverty or who are learning English, can be academically successful in college.

"We spent two days with the third grade students. We impressed upon them the importance of college and that we care about them and their future," said LaFountain.

The elementary children completed science projects the BHSU students developed including planting seeds to learn about photosynthesis and making "Oobleck" to learn about the states of matter. The BHSU students also led a social studies activity about the history of Pueblo while the third graders worked to arrange their city&rsquos historical events on a timeline.

"It was really just about engaging with the students at our partner school," said Chad Bischoff, a graduate student in strategic leadership from Rapid City. "It was an amazing experience."

At the end of their time at the elementary school, the BHSU students formed a panel discussion where the third graders asked them what college was like and why they chose to pursue higher education.

The BHSU students also volunteered at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs and at the Food Bank of the Rockies during their Alternative Spring Break. At the zoo they spent a labor-intensive day digging holes, feeding animals, and diverting waterfalls. The students filled orders for local residents at the food distribution center.

BHSU students who participated in this year&rsquos Alternative Spring Break included:
  • Chad Bischoff, graduate student in strategic leadership from Rapid City
  • Bradley Branson, elementary education major from Riverton, Wyo.
  • Mikkayla DeBolt, business administration-tourism major from Sheridan, Wyo.
  • Megan Gayer, human services and sociology major from Sioux Falls
  • Kyle Graves, graphic design communication and communication/theatre major from Rapid City
  • Lilia Hoffman, science education major from Mitchell
  • Ellie Jaques, elementary education major from Summerset
  • Karlee LaFountain, elementary education major from Casper, Wyo.
  • Justin Logue, psychology and political science major from Volin
  • Amber Lorius, elementary education major from Sturgis
  • Mariah Palmquist, business administration-accounting major from Winfred
  • Rebecca Rossow, human services major from Herreid
  • Cody Schopp, mass communication major from Lemmon
  • Taylor Watkins, environmental physical science major from Beresford

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