The St. Clairsville Elementary School Playground Committee proudly announced that Phase One of the playground project has been completed at a recent meeting at Ohio University Eastern.

Photographer: E. J. Schodzinski

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Eastern Campus students partner with St.Clairsville Elementary playground effort

Ohio University Eastern students enrolled in the Communication and Campaign course were recently given the opportunity to participate in a grassroots effort to renovate the St. Clairsville Elementary School Playground.

Part of the course requirements included participating in a service learning project in the community. Service learning is a teaching strategy that integrates instruction with community service.

“It is a win-win situation because it allows the students to theoretically study fundraising campaigns and experience a real fundraising campaign effort,” said Sarah Mahan-Hays, associate professor of communication studies. “The community partner benefits as well from the knowledge and creative ideas of the students.”

Ohio University Eastern Dean Richard Greenlee is fully supportive of the service learning approach.

“At Ohio University Eastern, we seek to have our students take the theoretical concepts that they learn in the classroom and apply them in real life projects in the community,” Greenlee said. “We are especially proud of the work Dr. Sarah Mahan-Hays has done over the years to assign her students projects in the community, where they can gain practical experience, while at the same time providing valuable assistance to local agencies and non-profit groups.”

For this project, the students created a variety of marketing pieces for the fundraising campaign and offered creative ways in which the playground committee might present their goals to the public. Their efforts were showcased in a presentation to the playground committee as well as the administration from both the St. Clairsville School System and Ohio University Eastern.

Heather Foster, co-chair of the playground committee, was most pleased with the results.

“The St. Clairsville Elementary School Community Playground Committee would like to thank OUE and the students involved in this project last spring,” said Foster. “It was a great way to jump-start our fundraising campaign.”

Foster concluded, “We were able to utilize many of the materials that were presented to our committee to market our playground campaign successfully and as a result, we are proud to announce that Phase One of the playground renovations is now complete. We aim to build upon our relationship with Dr. Mahan-Hays and OUE going forward.”