Mount Union Student Inspires Alliance Community

February 28, 2008

heatherstumpFinding inspiration in the classroom was always easy for one Mount Union College sophomore.  Heather Stump, of Wadsworth, is an early childhood education major at the College and saw a lag in children’s desire to learn. 

“I decided it was time to bring excitement back to the classroom,” said Stump.
From this decision, Project Inspire was born.

Project Inspire is an after school program that meets every week at the Alliance Neighborhood Center for an hour and a half.  Students in grades K-5 come to learn and have fun at the same time.  Each week revolves around a different idea with an activity planned around that specific topic.  Stump and her assistants have invited guests from the community to help with presentations and often have food for the children.

Jeremy Evans, a sophomore middle childhood education of Garrettsville, said “It is such a rewarding experience to see the students actually want to learn. They don't just do what they have to do; they actually are excited about learning and want to do more.”

“Some days, working with the kids is a challenge,” said MaryElizabeth Crawford, a junior middle childhood education of Warren. “But, when I see their enthusiasm for a particular project we are doing that day, it makes me realize we are making a difference.”

Stump took the advice of Amanda Espenschied-Reilly, director of service-learning and community service, to apply for the Ohio Campus Compact grant from the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Foundation.

The $1,000 grant is awarded to three students who show the most innovative and promising uses for a community non-profit organization.

Stump says the money will be used to allow the program to grow with hopes of having it continue after she graduates.

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