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Muskingum College education class embraces Bosnia project for children
By: Kimi Heskett Public Relations Intern

FEBRUARY 10, 2004 - A Muskingum College education class recently learned more than what can be taught in the classroom. They learned the value of sharing knowledge with those who are less fortunate.

The Education 414 class, which studies reading assessment and intervention, made by hand several reading games for teachers and students in the troubled country of Bosnia. The games include alphabet and sight word bingo games, sight word and rhyming word memory games and sight word donkey to help the Bosnian students study English.

The project idea came from Peggy Adams, assistant to the vice president of academic affairs whose son, Sgt. John Adams of the Army National Guard, is currently stationed in Bosnia. When Sgt. Adams arrived in Bosnia, he and his fellow troops built a school building for the children in the area. However, there was only one teacher, who had no school supplies, and the only things the U.S. Army could provide were pencils and paper. When Peggy Adams heard about the lack of resources for the children, she immediately turned to the Muskingum's education department.

Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Sandy Long headed up the assignment with her students and was overwhelmed with the outcome. "It gave our students the opportunity to share what they've been taught with others and to think globally by passing along the idea of games as learning activities. Also, I hope it made everyone stop for a moment and recognize how many resources we use to teach in this country, and to appreciate the many resources we have," she said.

Dr. Long also hopes that this project will continue for years to come at Muskingum. The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) chapter at Muskingum is interested in helping the project in the future. "Putting together a packet was easy and fun. The hard part is trying to figure out exactly what they need in Bosnia. I really hope this leads to a long-term relationship with this school," she said.

The Muskingum CEC chapter sponsors and participates in a variety of local events supporting special education.

The packet of learning tools was just recently sent to Bosnia and those involved with the project are eagerly waiting to hear how it was received and used. "We just took a stab in the dark, but we feel the outcome will be a positive one," Adams said.