UALR UNITY Student Initiative Teaches Children Cultural Awareness
by Billy Bird
Children involved in UALR’s Share America program are getting a head start on learning about important topics such as cultural diversity and ethnic tolerance thanks to the efforts of a group of UALR students. Students in Dr. Mary Eicholtz’s Professional Communications course have formed an organization called UNITY (United Networking Influencing Tolerance among Youth) as part of a service learning project for the class. The group recently hosted a workshop for Share America students that included films, role-playing, skits, and many other educational activities designed to teach children about discrimination and individual differences, stereotypes, cultural awareness, and community involvement.
A second workshop is scheduled for Saturday, April 20. According to student Carolyn Ryan, projects like the UNITY initiative give UALR students the opportunity to benefit the community while earning valuable work experience. “I believe it is critical for students to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it to help the community,” she said. “UNITY creates a win-win situation; we get the chance to teach children about diversity and tolerance, while gaining ‘on-the-job-training.’