GVSU students organize outreach projects, fundraise

Becky Spaulding

Grand Valley State University’s MGT 345, “Team Building” course students are working in groups to reach out to the local communities.

GVSU student Alli Williams, for example, is working with teammates Arol Veloso, Eric Jawor and Katherine Vellucci to raise money for Grand Rapids Public Schools students to attend an art camp at the Grand Rapids Art Museum this summer.

“The class is about team building, and we work with the same group on different projects throughout the semester,” Williams said. The teams have done problem-solving projects and are now working on a community outreach project.

Each group has had to go through the process of choosing a group to benefit from the money raised, a way to raise money, organizing the event with various businesses and getting the word out. Other groups’ projects include sending a family to the Great Wolf Lodge and sending gift baskets to the DeVos Children’s Hospital.

An intern at the GRAM, Williams thought the fundraiser to benefit GRPS students would be a good idea, she said. “There aren’t as many arts education classes (as there used to be) anymore.”

“Working at the GRAM I’ve been able to be more informed about the lack of art classes at GRPS,” Williams said. “It’s important for kids to have a well-rounded education.”

Art camps and after-school programs like the ones the GRAM puts on can help students whose schools are underfunded get that, Williams added.

According to a press release sent out by the group, “in 2010 there was a $1.2 million decrease in the budget for Grand Rapids Public Schools funding for art, music and physical education classes, making it more difficult for students who want to participate in the arts at school.”

The students participating “all feel that arts and humanities are crucial to a well-rounded education,” according to the release.

The Summer Art Camp, hosted by the GRAM, is a week-long visual arts experience offered to children ages 5-13, according to the GRAM website. “Each session allows campers to connect with original works of art, understand art-making processes, build a range of creative skills, and participate in a mini-exhibition at the end of the week.”

The group will have fliers available around campus, and rely on Facebook, e-mail and word-of-mouth to spread the word about their fundraising event.

Throughout the day on March 13, Buffalo Wild Wings at 3050 Alpine will accept them and donate 20 percent of the patron’s bill to the group’s project.

Fliers can be found in the Kirkhof Center as well as around the Allendale Campus.

You can also donate without a flier – just mention that you’d like to donate to the project.

After the donations have been tallied, the group will have a drawing at the David D. Hunting YMCA to choose students who will be able to attend the summer camp.
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