Service-learning project to impact Arcadia students
Four graduate students and one undergraduate from Louisiana Tech will have the opportunity to touch high school students’ lives this quarter in an art service-learning project. Led by Jes Schrom, an assistant professor of photography at Tech, the students will work with the North Central Louisiana Arts Council to teach a photojournalism course for students at Arcadia High School over a five-week period. The program, called My Vision, My Voice, will help the high school students use photojournalism to strengthen writing, research and literacy skills. “The basic outline is to teach four assignments: self-portrait, family and friends, community, and dreams,” Schrom said. “We hope to build literacy, creative understanding and self-reliance with these projects, combining photography and writing for the final product.” The final project will be displayed Nov. 3 and will include matted photographs and writings from the entire program. Leigh Anne Chambers, executive director of NCLAC, said statewide budget cuts had forced the program to be shut down for a short period of time, but thanks to private funding, it was able to resurface. “We think this is really important,” Chambers said. “This is a new way to approach writing that’s a little more fun. They’re taking the pictures and writing about them. They’re having to address why they were drawn to the image itself.” Chambers added that having college students teach the course also allows the students to see that college is achievable. “This shows them that there’s a lot more to college,” she said. “There’s students who don’t think a lot about higher education, and we’re having college students come in and show them that it is attainable.” Schrom said the Tech students are excited about the program. “They are all engaged, hardworking students who always enjoy sharing their passion for creativity with others,” she said. The five students working on the project are graduate students Caleb Clark of Ruston; Jaime Johnson of Poplarville, Miss.; Ashley Feagin of Westlake; Dan Snow of Springdale, Ark.; and undergraduate Dacia Idom of Lake Charles.