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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Help get kids off to good start with backpack program

Bookbag Photo
Jodi Devine, Honors Program (center), with recent alumnae Kathleen Weber (left) and LaShana Brown, who helped create the backpack program.

Sometimes kids need a friend, and when life becomes especially difficult, they need an adult friend who can help support and advocate for them in the legal system. In those cases, abused or neglected children are often assigned a Court-Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad litem (CASA/GAL) volunteer.

Wood County children in the CASA program also have friends at BGSU. For the past five years, Honors Program students have helped ensure their Christmases were warm and plentiful. Last Christmas, the honors students, along with other University members, “adopted” 21 CASA children.

“Over 40 people took part. It was a collective effort among honors, WBGU-TV and the Curriculum Resource Center (CRC). It was a nice collaborative,” said Jodi Devine, associate director of academic affairs in the
Honors Program.

Students, faculty and staff knitted scarves and hats, the CRC and WBGU donated 21 books, and other gifts such as gloves, toys or personal items were provided.

Because of privacy issues, the BGSU students are not able to meet with the children, but several honors students have taken special training to be able to work directly with them. CASA Director Carol Fox has visited the Honors Program to speak about the program.

“The BGSU Honors Program has been phenomenal for the CASA kids,” Fox said.

Honors’ commitment to the CASA kids does not end with Christmas. They also make sure the children start off the school year with everything they need for class, plus a backpack to carry it in. The project, now also in its fifth year, will help 65 schoolchildren this year, Devine said.

Honors students are inviting other student groups to participate, and local Brownie Troop 1031 is mounting a school supply drive and will help stuff the backpacks.

Previous campus participants have included Arts Village, Partners in Context and Community, Residence Life and Alpha
Phi Omega.

“School supplies can be very expensive,” Fox said. “In addition to the financial help, the backpack project helps the kids walk into school that first day and not be embarrassed, and think, ‘Hey, I’m going to have a
good start.’”

If you would like to help, the
most-needed items include: calculators, colored pencils, two-pocket folders, boxes of tissue, loose-leaf paper, markers, glue (bottles and sticks), pens, scissors, pencil boxes or supply boxes and backpacks. Backpacks can also be sponsored with
donations of $35.

Donations should be sent to the BGSU Honors Program at 125 N. Mercer St., 209E Harshman, Bowling Green, OH 43403.

For more information, contact Devine at
2-8501 or

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- The Scotsman, UK

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- The Miami Student

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- The Blade

University System of Ohio to reward faculty for lowering textbook costs

The University System of Ohio is seeking nominations from students, faculty and administrators for its Faculty Innovator Awards 2010. The awards will recognize 10 faculty members and/or teams from Ohio’s public universities, regional branch campuses, community colleges and adult career centers for work they have done to introduce digital course materials in the classroom that enrich learning and make college textbooks more affordable for their students.
Nomination forms, as well as winning faculty and innovations from 2009 (including BGSU biologist Dr. Robert Huber) in accounting, teacher education, educational psychology, physics, music, electronics engineering, biology, nursing and computer science courses across the state are showcased at the University System of Ohio’s new social media Web site, OhioTextbookHQ.
Nominations for Ohio’s 2010 Faculty Innovator Awards must be received by the University System of Ohio electronically no later than 5 p.m. on Feb. 15. They can be submitted using an online electronic form or by video upload to the Web site.
For more information, visit

Did you know?

The Center for Online and Blending Learning (COBL) offers regularly scheduled, fully online pedagogical training:

Session 1: Blackboard Basics for Online Faculty
This fully online course is self-paced and introduces you to the basics of using Blackboard effectively in your blended or online classroom. It is a prerequisite for the Best Practices Session 2 course. You will be notified by email when you have been enrolled in the course. Enroll any time at

Session 2: Best Practices for Teaching Online
A three-week, moderated training course designed to equip the instructor with a wide variety of tools and best practices in online education. Your classmates are your fellow BGSU faculty and staff.
Courses are offered:
• Jan. 25-Feb. 7
• Feb. 15-28
• March 15-28

Note: Before taking this course, you must complete or test out of Session 1: Blackboard Basics for Online Faculty to demonstrate knowledge of the basics of Blackboard. Session 1 must be completed no later than one week before the start of Session 2.

For more information, contact Beka Patterson
at 2-6792.


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January 13, 2010