Working in a school environment to change the lives of students is what some people dream of. The Education Club’s goal is to fulfill that dream and more.
The Education Club here at Springfield College has “been around,” explained sophomore Amanda Upchurch, the president of the club. Being around does not always mean together, however. By taking the presidential role, Upchurch is trying to bring this club to where she wants to it to be, for herself and Education majors alike.
In the past, the Education Club has been a resource for students in the major to seek help in taking the MTEL, which stands for the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure. Now, since taking on the role as president, Upchurch is trying to expand to the Springfield community and beyond.
By reaching out to local schools, such as the Kensington School in Springfield, the club is really focusing on students in the area, showing them how college is an option for them, and that they are here to help.
“[We] are trying to get them in the mind-set that college is a possibility for them,” said Upchurch.
Many of these schools that Upchurch is trying to team up with are Level 3 or 4 schools, which in the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System is considered failing, so they receive little to no money from the government.
The Education Club partake in events such as a drive for board games for different elementary schools, and also team up with the popular Partners Program, hosting a college week to do different activities with the elementary students. During this time, they also posed questions to get the young students thinking, such as what they wanted to do in the future.
“It was so awesome to see them put things [down] like a police officer, even fashion designers. These kids are so creative,” said Upchurch.
Upchurch is trying to make connections with the schools in order for Education majors to be put in real life situations to get as much experience as they can, while helping out the community in the process.
The club has around eight members, which is larger than any year before. In the past they have struggled with making the cut to be an actual club, but this year, the mentality has changed and students in the Education major are ready to go.
The club is advised by Jennifer Johnston, and supported by the Education faculty at Springfield College. The Education Club also connects with the Multicultural classes taught by Dan Zukergood.
Right now the club is involved with Operation Christmas Child, which is a church-run organization. The club is collecting donated items such as T-shirts, socks and of course, toys.
With increased advertisement, the Education Club is hoping to get more recognition to better their events that help the community, which is one of the key purposes of the club.
The Education Club may be small, but they are certainly striving to make a difference, one school and event at a time.