News release
Public Information Office  SLU 10880  Hammond, LA 70402  phone: 985-549-2341  fax: 985-549-2061

Contact: Christina Chapple
Date: 6/13/02
     HAMMOND -- Southeastern Louisiana University's Department of Teaching and Learning is joining with two area churches this summer to offer educational enrichment activities for middle and high school students.
     Education professor Cheryl Edwards said the partnership with Hammond's Greenfield Baptist Church and Ponchatoula's New Zion Baptist Church will also provide service learning opportunities for Southeastern students.
     She is seeking university students to tutor, mentor students on educational field trips, and help older students conduct oral history projects at the two churches.
     The partnership activities are funded by a $57,000 state Department of Education grant, Edwards said. Through the grant, eight Southeastern work-study students have been tutoring young church members since January 2002. 
     "We wanted to offer even more educational enrichment this summer," Edwards said. "We are hoping that faculty members in disciplines such as English, sociology, history, social work and education will incorporate this program into their courses as a service learning component."
     Edwards said community members are also welcome to participate. 
     The program will get underway later this month. Interested students or professors can contact Edwards at 985-549-5270 or
     Greenfield pastor Jerry Hanible said he is excited about partnering with Southeastern. "Southeastern is the focal point of the community," he said. "Partnering with the university will help get more young people interested in the value of education and excited about going to college. That's what it's all about.
     "Southeastern will be our 'big brother' in helping us motivate our children to further their education."                                         
     Edwards has had experience working with students on oral history projects. Students in her senior level education methods classes conduct oral history projects as part of their course work. Class members have interviewed area women about their memories of World War II. Oral history projects open the door for a variety of learning experiences, Edwards said.
     Hanible sees the oral history project as "cultural enrichment" that gives younger members of the community a chance to learn first hand about the past. "It will also help them improve writing and language skills," he said.