Class brings at-risk children to campus for jam


    A class is scheduled to bring around 100 at-risk 6th graders to campus to talk and do activities to inspire them to stay in school on Monday at the School is Cool Jam.

    The Generalist Practice with Communities class taught by professor Dr. Linda Moore is hosting the event on Monday.

    The idea of the jam would not be to encourage the children to attend only TCU, but any university or college, Moore said.

    “[In class we] learn about intervention strategies for working with communities and recognizing what the social needs are,” senior social work major Mary Mangan said. “Also [we learn about] facilitating change within the community and organizing groups and resources within the community to meet those needs.”

    In the morning, the children would have activities set up in the Recreation Center. The children would go to the Sam Baugh Indoor Practice Facility for more physical events.

    Seven organizations would facilitate interactive activities in 15 minute intervals for the children in the Rec Center, Mangan said. The nursing, graphic design, chemistry, computer science and criminal justice departments are a few of the stations the children would be able to visit. The children will have an obstacle course and tire throwing game after lunch and end the day learning the TCU fight song, she said.

    The program would show children college can be fun even when there is work involved, Moore said.

    “We’re trying to encourage the kids to stay in school and show them that college is a possibility,” senior social work major Ashley Finchum said. “A lot of these kids, if they do go to college, would be first-generation college students.”

    Each child will be paired with a TCU student throughout the entire day so they have someone to talk with and look up to, senior social work major Keely Teters said. Student volunteers would have the opportunity to leave their mark on a child hoping to attend college.

    The mentors provide consistency for the children while they travel around campus as a guide, senior social work major Lori Gangi said.

    The class split up into teams to cover the activities, fundraising, public relation and more. Visiting classes and recruiting volunteers was only a part of the team effort to put on the event, Teters, a student on the public relations team for the event, said.

    Mangan said it was difficult to collaborate as a class, inspire peers, delegate and network, but the class became a healthy learning tool for the real world.

    Previous classes sponsored similar jams where children took part in educational activities related to staying in school, Moore said. Every child would leave with a bag filled with donations, Moore said. In a past jam, one child loved a TCU shirt he received so much he wore it to class every day for a week, she said.

    “They often don’t believe they can go to college,” Moore said. “Hope, in the sense that there might be a way to do it, keeps kids in school.”