Applying a Real-World Experience to OHIO's Classroom

April 20, 2011

Renee Lewis, a junior studying sociology in the Honors Tutorial College, took her real-world experience at the Voinovich School into an Ohio University classroom. Lewis, who works with the Planning, Evaluation, Education, and Research (PEER) team, has worked on evaluating the Bethlehem Project — a service run by the Sisters of Charity that provides citizens of Stark County with oral hygiene products — for the School.

After being assigned a group project in her Class and Social Inequality class, Lewis decided to apply what she had learned from her interviews to the assignment.

Lewis and three other students went to Alexander Elementary School and taught a kindergarten class about oral health for an hour. The group taught students how to brush their teeth, discussed which foods are good and bad for teeth and tried to help children become comfortable with the idea of visiting the dentist. They also gave each child a free toothbrush and toothpaste.

After the project was complete, the group presented it to a panel that included one of last year’s winners, a sociology professor and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The panel chose Lewis’ group as the class’ best, and it was awarded a trophy.

“Renee’s been great to work with. She takes things to the next step in a project. I can give her something, and she’ll automatically do the followup works that needs to happen from that,” said Margaret Hutzel, Lewis’ supervisor at the Voinovich School.