UWRF Student Organization Engages, Assists Area Children

By Jaci Tweeten

March 4, 2011--Getting involved with the community is priority number one for the student organization Early Year Enthusiasts (EYE) at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

The organization is made up of students and faculty committed to quality early childhood education, family, community involvement and charity endeavors. EYE activities include participation in Relay for Life, babysitting nights at the campus CHILD Center, Stuff the Bus Charity Toy Drive and Spring Festival at the CHILD Center.

In their support of local families, EYE has held diaper drives for the Tille family, a River Falls family with one-year-old quintuplets and a three-year-old. EYE members have also helped with childcare needs for the family along with student volunteers in the Early Childhood program.

“We have been very appreciative of help from not only the students but also the community of River Falls,” says Angela Tille, mother of the quintuplets. “The people that volunteer in our home are like our extended family and come from all walks of life, married, divorced, or college students with different backgrounds. The vast array of differences gives our children unique learning opportunities.”

Student Carla Sampica, president of EYE and a senior elementary education major from River Falls, helps hold library visits. This involves going to the River Falls Public Library, finding activities and books related to a specific area, then sharing the findings with the community.

“The thing I like most about EYE is helping out the community. Being that I came to River Falls not knowing a lot about the city, this organization gave me a chance to learn about River Falls and make valuable connections with people,” says Sampica.

For more information about EYE, contact Molly Gerrish, faculty advisor and assistant professor of education at molly.gerrish@uwrf.edu or 715-425-3510.

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