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Two UW-Eau Claire organizations receive Student Organization of the Month awards

December 20, 2012
 FTC
Members of UW-Eau Claire’s Future Teachers Club

EAU CLAIRE — Two student organizations at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire recently were recognized by the Student Organizations and Leadership Center with Student Organization of the Month awards.

The award for October was presented to the Student Council for Exceptional Children, which creates opportunities for children and youth with special needs in the Chippewa Valley. The group works to bridge the gap between individuals with and without special needs.

In October SCEC participated in volunteer activities, including the Longfellow Buddy Program, which pairs a college student and a Longfellow Elementary School student who is considered at risk. For one hour a week, the buddy pairs meet and work on homework for half an hour and socialize for the other half hour. Volunteers provide a supportive outlet for children who may not receive such encouragement elsewhere.

Other SCEC activities in October included volunteering at PRIDE and PRIDE4Adults, and the Special Olympics bowling tournament. The group raised money for its scholarship fund by carving pumpkins at Fanny Hill, and it presented its biggest event of the semester, an annual Halloween dance at South Middle School. Featuring music, food, costume contests and prizes, the dance for Eau Claire area youth with disabilities offers an opportunity to not feel "different," but to simply be a group of friends hanging out at a Halloween party.

Upcoming activities for the Student Council for Exceptional Children include its first concert fundraiser, "Light It Blue," in April. Half of the money raised will be donated to the advocacy organization Autism Speaks (April is National Autism Awareness Month), and the other half will support the organization's scholarship fund.

The Student Organization of the Month award for November was presented to the Future Teachers Club, which provides education students with opportunities to meet colleagues, have fun, network and learn from professionals in the education field and in the community. The organization provides co-curricular activities that result in personal and professional development. The group strives to create close, lasting relationships between education faculty and students, and to help members gain confidence and experience in their fields.

In November the Future Teachers Club packed bags of food for the Weekend Kids' Meal Program at Feed My People Food Bank. Members had the chance to connect with the community, learn about an important community resource for the hungry and see what some of their future students might experience. The group also assisted with Manz Elementary School's family reading night, planning and executing a lesson around the theme of bedtime stories. The many freshman members of the Future Teachers Club had their first experience teaching children in a classroom setting. The organization also hosted a meeting on classroom management, featuring Dr. Rosemary Battalio, chair of the special education department, who related techniques on making classrooms a positive and safe place for students.

The Future Teachers Club will continue to stay involved with the Eau Claire Area School District, assist students who are applying for acceptance into the education program, help Flynn Elementary School with its kindergarten orientation night and invite educators to address special topics at organization meetings. Members will again participate in the Eau Claire Polar Plunge Feb. 24 to support Special Olympics Wisconsin.

As well as being rewarded with a recognition photo or video in the Student Organizations and Leadership Center, each organization winning the Student Organization of the Month Award receives $150 to use at Metropolis Resort in Eau Claire, the award's community partner. Organizations may apply for the award online.

The Student Organizations and Leadership Center in Davies Center provides services and a home base for the more than 250 campus organizations at UW-Eau Claire. The Student Organization of the Month Award is sponsored by the Activities, Involvement and Leadership office of the University Centers and the Organizations Commission of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate.

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JS/DW

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