Creating a course that cares

by Katherine Dzelme | Staff Writer
Published: Last Updated on

The LANG 300 course is a community service project that seeks to fulfill the engagement and involvement of UIndy as part of Vision 2030. Students a part of the course help the children at Laurelwood with homework and participate in various activities with them. The after school program hosts children grades K-12 and takes place from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and the credit hours received depends on how many days a week a student participates.

Class instructor Peter Vakunta describes the course as a “life skills project,” because it aims to teach the kids at Laurelwood more than academic skills, but also the “need to be college bound.”

“I want to give the kids hope and instill the message, ‘I can go to college no matter where I am now,’” Vakunta said.

Despite the language title of the class, there is no language prerequisite to enroll in the class. However, Vakunta recommends that students who wish to take the class be people oriented. Senior Lloyd Smith adds that education majors and athletes should take this course due to the community interaction and work with children.

Smith describes the program as a leadership opportunity. He stated that accountability teaches students to be leaders through leading by example.

“You are held accountable,” he said. “Every day I feel more accountable.”

Vakunta hopes to have the course available every semester and a spring tem program available. He also wants to get the children at Laurelwood involved in the movie nights the language department organizes on campus. While the kids get to play some games with students, Vakunta sees the possibility to expand the kids’ involvement in other sports like tennis and performing arts like dancing. The main goal is to prepare the kids at Laurelwood for the SAT and ACT.

If anyone is interested in the LANG 300 course, Smith said that Laurelwood takes volunteers every day regardless of being in the class or not.

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