Compassion is an important tenet of Millersville University’s EPPIIC Values. Supporting our family, friends and neighbors has never been more important than it is right now during these challenging times created by the coronavirus pandemic. In that spirit, a group of Millersville University (MU) students have volunteered to support our neighbors—the students and families of the Penn Manor School District (PMSD)—in their transition to online learning.
A new partnership between MU and PMSD will connect our students with local families in a “buddy-type” program for the next four weeks to provide assistance during this time of mid-semester transition to online learning. While Millersville students will not be providing teaching-specific services, they will be helping families transition to using a variety of online learning platforms including Zoom, Google Docs, Google Hangout and Google Classroom; and supporting elementary students in learning online.
“This partnership aligns with the University’s larger goal of mentorship for our students and the local community,” says President Daniel Wubah. “I am thrilled to see our students reaching out in creative fashion to support our neighbors during this challenging time. This program demonstrates two of our EPPIIC Values—Public Mission and Compassion—and I am proud of the hard work that is being done by all members of our University community.”
This new partnership was made possible by the teamwork of Dr. Nazli Hardy, computer science; Allison Yarrow in Campus Recreation and Lori Leaman in Civic & Community Engagement, in collaboration with senior leadership at Penn Manor.
Nearly 40 Millersville students have already signed up to participate in the buddy program, and tutorials on different online learning platforms are being created to assist more than 60 families. So far, more than 153 virtual hours have been logged by the buddies.
“As this virtual buddy program has flourished, we are reminded that our EPPIIC values are alive and thriving among our students,” says Hardy. “In the midst of challenge, it is uplifting to see our students rising to that challenge, while embracing our community. And it is inspiring to work with colleagues like Allison Yarrow and Lori Leaman, whose leadership in implementing this virtual buddy program represents the public mission of Millersville University.”
The hope is that this partnership will help to strengthen the bonds that already exist between Millersville and Penn Manor, and let local students and their families know they are not alone in this difficult time.