Local kids have their interests ‘PEAKed’
This semester, students in Suzanne Baker’s “The Learner and the Teacher: Childhood” course created lesson plans, and over the last several weeks, they put the plans into action in schools across Newark.
Visiting second grade classrooms in five of Newark’s elementary schools, Baker’s students taught children about the environment and also answered questions about attending Denison, giving the grade-schoolers a glimpse of what it means to go to college.
Their efforts are part of PEAK (Providing Early Awareness and Knowledge), a program that partners Newark City Schools with three Licking County colleges. Denison, Central Ohio Technical College and Ohio State University at Newark have worked with PEAK since 2008 to help students think about life after high school.
This year alone, more than 100 Denison students, faculty and staff from all walks of campus have participated in the program. Volunteers worked with second-graders at the Newark library during a series called “Reading Rocks;” fourth-graders learned “the more you learn, the more you earn;” and a Denison bluegrass ensemble gave music appreciation a boost with performances at John Clem and Carson Elementary schools.
The final activity of the year takes place at the end of May when Heritage Middle School eighth-graders will hear about the serious consequences of dropping out of high school. More than 30 Denison volunteers will participate in the event, called “Reality Store,” a hands-on simulation game.