PNC Presents KinderCones to Pine Elementary Students

PNC-KinderconeSeveral Purdue University North Central organizations have joined efforts to pack and deliver

"KinderCones" to the kindergarten students at Pine Elementary School.

This is the second consecutive year that PNC organizations have donated Kindercones to Pine Elementary School students. The cones were packed with a draw-string school bag containing all the necessary school supplies for the kindergarten students, along with some selected toys and treats. PNC students and representatives of the donating organizations visited Pine Elementary School to deliver the cones.

The KinderCone is a 200-year-old German tradition of providing new students in Kindergarten with paper cones filled with their school supplies along with some surprise little gifts and some sweets.

The PNC Social Work Club, with club president Bethany Hershman, of Valparaiso; vice president Christopher Peiffer, treasurer Angel Kolivas and club advisor with Lori Radtke, continuing lecturer of Social Work, took on the project after research by Social Work Club members found that students who have all their school supplies at the beginning of the year have a better academic success rate than their peers who do not have their school supplies.

Peiffer applied for, and received, a Community Service Mini-Grant from Indiana Campus Compact to fund the project.

"The Kindercones project has allowed us, as a club and future social workers, to get beyond the theoretical world of text books and classrooms and have a significant and positive impact in the real world with real people," said Peiffer.

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Other PNC organizations eagerly joined the effort. The Purdue North Central Women's Association (PNCWA) with Maria Watson, president and Laura Weaver, Service Learning coordinator, helped to provide additional donations of school supplies. Weaver helped the Social Work students with the grant application and was instrumental in brining all the groups together.

Additional help came from the student organizations Purdue Learning About Young Children in Education (PLAYCE) under the leadership of Dr. Mary Jane Eisenhauer, assistant professor of Early Childhood Education the club advisor and student Amy Boren as well as the student organization Kappa Delta Pi with Deb Pratt, continuing lecturer of Education, the club advisor.

Radtke noted that many parents are financially challenged and have difficulty ensuring that their children have the proper school supplies.

"I was in a local store and overheard a young mother waiting to checkout with her children's school supplies speaking about her worries with trying to pay for the school supplies. At that moment, I knew that as a club representing this campus, we would always try to provide Kindercones," said Radtke. "This is a sweetheart of a project that so many wonderful students, staff, faculty, PNCWA and members of our community have adopted as their project too."

Photo: Bethany Hershman, PNC Social Work Club president; Maria Watson, PNCWA president; Angel Kalivas, Social Work Club treasurer; Christopher Peiffer, Social Work Club vice president; Nicki McKay, Social Work Club member; Laura Weaver, Service Learning coordinator; Lori Radtke, Social Work Club advisor; Kendria White, Social Work Club member; Amy Boren, PLAYCE, Alyssa Pierce and Laura Walstra, a member of PLAYCE and Alexis Lange, Chancellor's Leadership Society.