SPE 101 Donates to Callaway County’s Adopt-a-Buddy Program

For some children in Callaway County, Friday means more than looking forward to a weekend free from school – It can bring anxiety about what they have to eat before Monday, without school breakfast or lunch. This uncertainty is all too common, but the Callaway County Adopt-a-Buddy program is helping to abolish this fear by providing backpacks of food every Friday to the kids who need it.

As part of a persuasive speaking assignment for Westminster’s Spring 2014 Introduction to Speech class, a competition was held to support a community service organization. Each student donated $5 before partnering with another student to choose an organization and devise a speech to advocate it. The class would then listen to each other’s speeches and vote to decide which organization would be granted the money raised by the class donations.

The organization that received the most votes was the Adopt-a-Buddy program, promoted by students Megan May, ’14, and Joe Garwood, ‘14. Also, in order to bring the total to $150 (enough to fund one child for a year), the students on the winning team personally donated an extra $20 each.
Keith T. Hardeman, Professor of Speech Communication, presented his class’s $150 donation to the Adopt-a-Buddy program, giving hope to children living in Callaway County.

“Because of you, a life has been touched forever. Thank you for your partnership with The Food Bank and for allowing us to be your hands to a hungry and hurting child,” said Peggy Kirkpatrick, Executive Director at the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, in an acknowledgment letter.

In Hardeman’s class, students learned how to improve their public speaking skills, structure meaningful sentences, and deliver a good speech, as well as the potential for power that speeches hold. Through the competition assignment, they learned how words can make a difference and enhance others’ lives.

Bishesh Shrestha, an SPE 101 student, says that combining service with a class assignment was a great idea: “It made the speech look more natural as the students were pursuing people to take a step for a good cause.”

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