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BINGO! FYS on Leadership Experiences Service Learning First-Hand

October 26, 2015

Category: Academics, Events, Students


bingo15.jpgCatawba College freshmen enrolled in the First Year Seminar on Leadership only had a hint of where they were going on late October trip to experience service learning first-hand.  That hint was "BINGO"!

As they loaded up, some of the students caught a glimpse of a Bingo must have, a roller number cage already packed and ready to be used. First year seminar instructor Ben Smith, also Catawba's Dean of Students, overheard some of his students talking about how much they liked playing the game.  He confided that he believed his students thought they were actually going to play this game.  Instead, these students found themselves at Carillon, a retirement and assisted living facility located near Catawba College. There, they served as encouragers, assistants and Bingo callers, motivating the elderly residents through rounds of play.

The students quickly found out how competitive this group of residents was.  For them, each game they played was intense!

Smith recalled several moments of pride in his students as he stood in the background watching them interact with the elderly residents.  He said he believed his students were "happy to be there in that moment."

Two football players, Daniel Brinegar and Ryan Disher, arrived late to the Bingo games because of football practice.  But after they arrived, they both sat with a lady who had been sitting alone. From the expression on this woman's face, the students' attention focused only on her, Smith said, "quickly made her day."

Smith saw other students interacting with the elderly, answering their questions and sharing photos of their homes, families and friends on their phones.

Both the students and the elderly residents had big smiles on their faces, Smith said, as the rounds of Bingo concluded.

"Everyone clearly was right where they wanted to be," Smith shared, his pride in his students showing.

In addition to the football players aforementioned, other students in the FYS Leadership class who participated in service learning experience at Carillon include Joshua E. Coble, Jayni D. Johnson, Erisa Onchi, Kirstin Saltus, and Sarah Glasco.  Emily Schneider, a member of the Catawba Student Affairs staff, also accompanied Smith and his students on this outing.