May 3, 2002
Purdue awards grants for community service projects
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Purdue University students are completing a variety of service projects in the Greater Lafayette area due to nearly $13,000 in grants awarded by the university's Office of Engagement.
The Gerontology Student Organization will use one of the 15 grants to conduct a computer tutorial for senior adults at 3 p.m. Monday (5/6) at Westminster Village in West Lafayette. The students will visit the apartments or rooms of residents who own computers to assist them in navigating the Internet and setting up e-mail accounts. Jessica Kelley-Moore, Gerontology Student Organization secretary, says many seniors would like to be more computer savvy.
"They'll say, 'Well, my grandkids come and click around and they think I'm following, but I'm not,'" Kelley-Moore says. "It really is kind of a low comfort zone with some of them."
Students in a leadership class run by the Dean of Students Office recently used their grant to provide a pasta dinner for the Seeds of Hope day shelter administered by the Tippecanoe County Mental Health Association. Case manager Catherine Lisinicchia says approximately 65 shelter patrons visited with the students.
"They came in and brought a huge feast for us," Lisinicchia says. "Afterward, I did a talk about what we do at the shelter and what the purpose and needs are. They (the shelter patrons) were very appreciative. We're often forgotten on the weekends."
Don Gentry, Purdue's vice provost for engagement, says service projects, such as the shelter and retirement village visits, help both the community and students.
"We are extremely pleased with the variety of learning opportunities that have been funded, cutting across numerous community groups," Gentry says.
Other service projects included snow shoveling in the New Chauncey neighborhood in West Lafayette, an educational bike rodeo for children and free field engineering services for non-profit organizations. Gentry's office plans to issue more grants in the fall. For more information, contact his office staff at (765) 494-9095.
NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: The media may cover the Internet tutorials at Westminster Village. Contact the Gerontology Student Organization at (765) 494-4701 to make arrangements.
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; firstname.lastname@example.org