Center of Excellence hosts carnival

Rachel Baggett, Staff Writer

The Center of Excellence (COE) turned their office into a mini-carnival in order to present their program and other information to education majors on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

The COE is a program for education majors at Francis Marion University that aims to better prepare undergraduate teacher-candidates for teaching children of poverty.

Markey Bee, Associate Director of the COE and organizer of the carnival, said that the COE holds events like this every semester, but this was the first time they have had something that was really interactive.

“We have these events to meet with the students and have something fun for the education majors,” Bee said. “Plus, they get the opportunity to volunteer, earn some money, meet the faculty in a non-threatening way and learn about the Center of Excellence.”

The carnival included over 14 different booths that were designed and put together by the COE’s three student workers and two graduate assistants. The booths themselves were ran and operated by education students who volunteered.

Taylor Childers, a secondary education in mathematics major and winner of the grand prize drawing, was one of the student volunteers at the carnival.

“I volunteered because I decided I needed to be more involved in the education program,” Childers said.

When students first arrived at the carnival, they were presented with a list of all the booths and activities available. When students completed activities, they received stamps on their list which they could use for extra credit in their education classes.

The booths ranged from more educational activities to just-for-fun activities. Some activities at the carnival included a booth where students could learn about how they could be paid to write book reviews, a booth were students could sign up to volunteer for the COE service committee and a booth with education scholarship information.

Others activities included a photo booth and tables where students could complete a puzzle in order to win prizes such as hula hoops, paddle balls and frisbees.

The carnival also had several contests and drawings, such as a scavenger hunt that will last through the month of September. The winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to the Patriot Bookstore.

In between booths, students were welcome to sit down, grab a hotdog and talk with other education majors or professors.

“We had a really good turnout…and we registered over a hundred students who came,” Bee said. “I’ve already had a couple students who were involved ask me if we were doing this again, so hopefully we will have another fun event in the spring for them.”

The next COE event is their fall 2011 workshop on Saturday, Oct. 1 in the Chapman Auditorium. This free event will include announcing the scavenger hunt winner.