By Lauren Buckley
Students from Education 318 (Multiculturalism and Education) are coordinating a 5K Fun Run/Walk and Zumbathon that will occur on April 22 at 10 a.m. in Gerhard Fieldhouse to benefit the Lewisburg Pool Pass Project. The Lewisburg Pool Pass Project helps to reduce the cost of community pool passes for needy families in the surrounding area.
University students, with the guidance of Sue Ellen Henry, associate professor of education, created the initiative in conjunction with Lewisburg Area Recreation Authority (LARA) in the spring of 2010. The Panhellenic Council will also be co-sponsoring the event this year. Henry integrated the cause, which is centered on how the inequality of experiences can impact a child’s life and education, into her Education 318 class as it paralleled the course’s theme of social justice problems existing in society.
“Each year the students from the course decide on the fundraiser approach and do absolutely all the work to coordinate the project. As you can imagine, I’m very, very proud of the student effort; each year the determination has astounded me,” Henry said.
The project began after the tragic drownings of 11-year-old Assunda Rotolo of Lewisburg and her cousin, eight-year-old Les Davis Jr. of Mifflinburg. The families of the children had not been able to afford summer pool passes and used the Susquehanna River for recreational purposes instead. The Pool Pass Project honors the memory of these children.
“Many of us at Bucknell are truly privileged, and the Pool Pass Project offers us all a small yet significant way to give back to the community we call our second home,” said Megan Doyle ’12, a student of Education 318 and coordinator of the fundraiser.
The initiative was able to provide pool passes and swimming lessons for five families during its first summer and 16 families during its second summer. Those involved in the cause hope to continue increasing the number of subsidized passes given to needy families each year.
“I am particularly invested in this project after spending this past summer as a camp counselor with LARA. I saw first-hand how safe and fun the community pool is, and I appreciate the chance to work with the other committed Multiculturalism students to help more local children have access to that great community resource,” Doyle said.
All proceeds of the 5K Fun Run/Walk and Zumbathon will go directly to the Lewisburg Pool Pass Project. In addition, baskets filled with items from local businesses that will be donated by Greek and other student organizations will also be raffled off at the event. Any student organization interested in donating to the event can submit a basket filled with $50 worth of items from community businesses to Olin 459 by April 13. Games and activities will also be offered at the event for children, and all interested parties can register at http://www.tinyurl.com/poolpassproject.
“My personal hope for this year’s event is to not only raise sufficient funds to meet the need for subsidized pool passes this summer, but also to generate an awareness and enthusiasm that will carry over from year to year,” Doyle said.