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Hope College June 2013 : Page 18

Campus Profile Understanding By Greg Chandler Outreach for L eAna Pryor’s first-grade class at North Holland Elementary School in Holland, Mich., had some special visitors recently. Hope students brought animals from the college’s biology museum – a guinea pig, a frog, a toad, lizards and turtles -to Pryor’s classroom as part of a outreach program known as “Zoo 2 You.” It’s presented by Club Animalia, a student organization that works to promote the bond between humans and animals, not only on campus, but throughout the Holland area. Pryor says the “Zoo 2 You” visit gave her students a unique opportunity to learn about the animals they had been studying about in their class. A love of animals and passion for service drives student involvement in Club Animalia. pictured with some of the denizens of the college’s biology museum are juniors meredith whitehead, who developed the “Zoo 2 You” program, and Chelsea Campbell, club president. “Many of these students have never had the opportunity to get that close to live animals,” Pryor said. “They also learned and responded very well to instructions about how to interact with living things so that the animals were not scared.” “Zoo 2 You” was the brainchild of Dr. Gregory Fraley of the biology faculty and developed by then-freshman Meredith Whitehead of Buffalo Grove, Ill., a member of Club Animalia. Hope had hosted student groups over the years that had visited the biology museum, but those visits had dwindled in recent years. “In the past few years, funds have been cut and schools couldn’t even afford the bus to come to Hope,” said Whitehead, now a junior. “I came up with the idea to do a reverse-field trip. Along with some others that helped out, I created ‘Zoo 2 You’ as a way for kids to be able to get that hands-on science experience without even leaving their school.” Pryor is thrilled for her students. “Having a quality program come to the school that fits with our curriculum and at no cost is very valuable to us,” she said. “With live animals, the students are able to make connections and apply what they are learning in the classroom. They are also able to practice their questioning skills.” It’s outreach projects like “Zoo 2 You” that have resulted in national recognition for Club Animalia. The organization recently received the national Outstanding Community Service Award from the American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association at its annual symposium at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla. The award is a big deal for Club Animalia because the competition included programs from much larger schools, said Dr. Gregory Fraley, an associate professor of biology who has been the club’s advisor since its inception. “There are scores of universities with hundreds of club members who have not earned this distinction,” said Dr. Fraley, who serves on the APVMA’s advisory board. Club Animalia got its start when Molly Lien ’07, a pre-veterinary student at the time, approached Dr. Fraley about wanting to start a club to give students an opportunity to work with animals and learn more about career related to animal care. While most of the first members were pre-vet students, the club has grown and diversified to include education majors and students who want to pursue careers in health care, Dr. Fraley said. “We provide education majors with the opportunity, much before their student teaching, to gain experience interacting with elementary school students through programs like ‘Zoo 2 You,’” Dr. Fraley said. It’s outreach projects like “Zoo 2 You” that have resulted in national recognition for Club Animalia. The organization recently received the national Outstanding Community Service Award from the American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association. 18 News News From From Hope Hope College College

Outreach for Understanding

Greg Chandler

<br /> LeAna Pryor’s first-grade class at North Holland Elementary School in Holland, Mich., had some special visitors recently.<br /> <br /> Hope students brought animals from the college’s biology museum – a guinea pig, a frog, a toad, lizards and turtles - to Pryor’s classroom as part of a outreach program known as “Zoo 2 You.” It’s presented by Club Animalia, a student organization that works to promote the bond between humans and animals, not only on campus, but throughout the Holland area.<br /> <br /> Pryor says the “Zoo 2 You” visit gave her students a unique opportunity to learn about the animals they had been studying about in their class.<br /> <br /> “Many of these students have never had the opportunity to get that close to live animals,” Pryor said. “They also learned and responded very well to instructions about how to interact with living things so that the animals were not scared.”<br /> <br /> “Zoo 2 You” was the brainchild of Dr. Gregory Fraley of the biology faculty and developed by then-freshman Meredith Whitehead of Buffalo Grove, Ill., a member of Club Animalia. Hope had hosted student groups over the years that had visited the biology museum, but those visits had dwindled in recent years.<br /> <br /> “In the past few years, funds have been cut and schools couldn’t even afford the bus to come to Hope,” said Whitehead, now a junior. “I came up with the idea to do a reverse-field trip. Along with some others that helped out, I created ‘Zoo 2 You’ as a way for kids to be able to get that hands-on science experience without even leaving their school.”<br /> <br /> Pryor is thrilled for her students.<br /> “Having a quality program come to the school that fits with our curriculum and at no cost is very valuable to us,” she said. “With live animals, the students are able to make connections and apply what they are learning in the classroom. They are also able to practice their questioning skills.”<br /> <br /> It’s outreach projects like “Zoo 2 You” that have resulted in national recognition for Club Animalia. The organization recently received the national Outstanding Community Service Award from the American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association at its annual symposium at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla.<br /> <br /> The award is a big deal for Club Animalia because the competition included programs from much larger schools, said Dr. Gregory Fraley, an associate professor of biology who has been the club’s advisor since its inception.<br /> <br /> “There are scores of universities with hundreds of club members who have not earned this distinction,” said Dr. Fraley, who serves on the APVMA’s advisory board.<br /> <br /> Club Animalia got its start when Molly Lien ’07, a pre-veterinary student at the time, approached Dr. Fraley about wanting to start a club to give students an opportunity to work with animals and learn more about career related to animal care. While most of the first members were pre-vet students, the club has grown and diversified to include education majors and students who want to pursue careers in health care, Dr. Fraley said.<br /> <br /> “We provide education majors with the opportunity, much before their student teaching, to gain experience interacting with elementary school students through programs like ‘Zoo 2 You,’” Dr. Fraley said.<br /> <br /> For students who want to go on to become veterinarians, participating in club activities also can help with future career preparation. “They have to be able to talk about complex medical issues for people who don’t understand science,” he said.<br /> <br /> When Chelsea Campbell, a junior from Otsego, Mich., arrived at Hope for her freshman year, she was looking for a program in which she could continue her interest in animals, which she had developed over many years as a 4-H Club member. She found out about Club Animalia and went to the first meeting, and has remained a member ever since, serving as president this past year.<br /> <br /> “I knew they worked with animals, and I wanted to be part of it,” said Campbell, a biology/pre-veterinary major.<br /> <br /> Campbell says she enjoys the opportunities she has found to share her love of animals with other people, particularly kids, through her involvement in the club.<br /> <br /> “I think it’s really important to educate people in general, but especially children. They are the future,” Campbell said. “If you can change minds and make kids aware about animals and animal welfare, it’s a lot easier to change perspectives.”<br /> <br /> In addition to “Zoo 2 You,” Club Animalia offers other outreach programs to the Holland community. They include animal demonstrations for children who attend the city’s Farmers Market during the summer, as well as a yearlong veterinary science program through Ottawa County 4-H that teaches middle school and high school students about animal husbandry, and careers in veterinary medicine. Club members also volunteer on weekends at the Harbor Humane Society, located between Holland and Grand Haven, Mich., and raise funds for the organization.<br /> <br /> “We do whatever needs to be done, whether it’s walking dogs, washing dogs, changing litter boxes,” Campbell said.<br /> <br /> The club’s other charitable efforts include the annual Dance Marathon that raises funds for the Helen DeVos Children Hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich., and the Relay for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.<br /> <br /> The group has even found unique ways to serve on campus. As the spring semester wrapped up final exams, Club Animalia joined with the college’s Counseling and Psychological Services office to organize “Surviving Finals 101” on Tuesday, April 30, in the DeWitt Center, giving students a chance to take a break from the intensity of exam week with the therapy dogs of West Michigan Therapy Dogs. More than 400 students participated in the four-hour event, which was so successful that the planners are hoping to continue it in the future.<br /> <br /> Whitehead sees Club Animalia and the opportunities it provides for outreach as part of the college’s goal of developing well-rounded students, with a foundation in the liberal arts. “Getting involved in community development and education programs is just the way Hope students can achieve that goal,” she said.<br /> <br /> Whitehead plans to graduate next spring with an elementary education degree and is considering joining the Peace Corps to teach overseas.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, LeAna Pryor hopes that Club Animalia will be able to return next school year for another set of first-graders to learn about animals.<br /> <br /> “It is a wonderful learning experience for the first graders, as well as the Hope students who share their time and knowledge with young students,” Pryor said.

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