Honors projects present at Honorspalooza


Micaela McGinley

One Honors Program group collected more than 500 books to donate to the children’s literacy organization Bernie’s Book Bank, which was one of three community outreach projects this summer.

The Honors 1003: Honors Project class wrapped up the semester with their final project presentations at Honorspalooza Tuesday, Dec. 2, with a focus on community outreach.

Three groups from the honors class dedicated their time to various projects: children’s literacy advocacy, veteran’s support, and animal abuse awareness.

“The curriculum for the Honors Project course requires students to research a social problem that directly affects their community, to come up with ways to help, and to enact those plans,” said Adam Oldaker, IVCC English instructor.

The children’s literacy advocacy project, organized by students Micaela McGinley, Leigha Pastorik, and Al Trumbo, contacted libraries and local businesses in Streator, Ottawa, and Senica to better understand what promotions happen outside of the school setting. They discovered that despite avid community involvement, children’s literacy truly depends on early encouragement within the home.

A book drive was held at the IVCC campus beginning on Nov. 17, resulting in the collection of 543 children’s books to be donated to Bernie’s Book Bank based in Lake Forest, IL. The group encourages community members to continue to donate to similar organizations.

The veteran’s support project was coordinated by Kory Tieman, Amber Phillips, and Ryan Sedlock, centering its efforts around better understanding the depression, suicide, and exasperating circumstances such as PTSD with which retired service men and women struggle.

This group contacted various sources and discovered the seriousness yet high treatability of the previously mentioned conditions.

“Simply being friendly and treating a veteran like any other friend helps more than people may realize,” said Kory Tieman. “Never forget all the things veterans have done for you, and never forget how easy it is to give back.”

The group recommends volunteering at the Veterans’ Home in LaSalle and donating to organizations such as Mission Continues and the Wounded Warrior Project.

Honors project animal abuse awareness was led by Rachelle Linder, Lindsey Sutherland, Megan Fitzgerald, and Miranda Grandy, and focused on educating as many people as possible while raising funds and supplies to assist caregivers for mistreated animals in the area.

The group visited local shelters and agencies including Spay It Forward, NFP in Senica, Pet Project in Marseilles, and IVAR in Peru.

In addition to their informational booth on the IVCC campus Nov. 24 and 25, the group held a supply drive at Rural King in Peru collecting items to donate.

In addition to these projects, Honorspalooza included presentations from classes Honors 1001: Honors Orientation, Film 2010: Honors Film, Art, and Literature, and Honors 1002: Honors Portfolio.