Service Learning project teaches kids how to act out

Submitted on December 21, 2009 at 3:23 PM

Sometimes the best way to learn is to teach. For Volunteer State Community College students that means taking show business to elementary school kids. It's a Service Learning project for the Vol State students, which provides the elementary kids with a taste of acting.

"The biggest thing I want to instill in them is that drama is fun," said Vol State student Andrew Campbell of Gallatin. "I want them to realize that this is something they can grow with. It's a fulfilling thing."

Service Learning projects are happening in many Vol State classes. They're community engagement combined with new ways of learning. Campbell is organizing his project with the Unity Learning Center afterschool program at Merrol Hyde Magnet School in Hendersonville. The Vol State students are helping the Merrol Hyde kids to put on a production of "The Wizard of Oz".

"It's a great chance to increase student public speaking and self-esteem," said Unity Site Manager Kat Osborn. "Andrew really enjoys it, and the kids know it. They're drawn to him."

"Introduction to Theatre is a survey class where students get an overview of both theatre history and theatre production," said Associate Professor Dr. Judi Truitt. "The Service Learning project that Andrew and his group are doing involves all aspects of theatre production. I can't think of any better way for them to learn what theatre is all about."

The project has gone so well for Campbell that Sumner County Schools recently hired him to coordinate theater in several schools. Campbell says it's a dream to be able to get paid to do theatre, but in the long run he has a different goal.

"I'm actually in the pre-nursing program at Vol State," he said. "From here I go to anesthesia school. I want to be a nurse anesthetist."

For more information about Service Learning at Vol State visit or call 615-230-3315.


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