What better way to learn about event planning and production than by actually putting together a day-long series of sport-related events for a local community organization.
That was just what students in the Sport Management program did. Partnering with the Chesterbrook Community Foundation in Waltham, that provides mentoring, academic support and enrichment in structured after-school and evening programs, the Mount Ida students brought more than 30 students from grades K – 7 to Mount Ida to spend a day building community and learning about the possibilities that exist.
Breanna Muir, a junior and Mount Ida basketball player was one of the 16 students in Professor Heather Gilmour’s Sport Practicum, Event Planning and Production class who helped plan and execute the day’s activities. “We had a full day planned, brought in not only members of our class but of the Mount Ida community as well to help out.”
Student Morgan Rzonca helped organize participation by students in Mount Ida’s Dental Hygiene program who spoke to the visitors about good oral health care. While the students were learning about how to brush, members from several sports teams at Mount Ida were preparing to take them through an obstacle course, have them play games, to get signatures from some of Mount Ida’s star athletes and to enjoy a day of activity and community.
“It was a wonderful event,” says Professor Gilmour. “I’m always so proud of our students not just for their excellent planning, but for the example they set for these young people. I know when I give this service-learning assignment to the members of my Event Planning and Production class, that they will experience much more than a class project. They learn so much about themselves and what it means to be a good citizen.” Gilmour shared with the Chesterbrook visitors that she personally overcame many obstacles to get her education, but with the proper attitude and support, she has been able to achieve her goals.
Muir, who wants to be a coach says she learned a lot about communicating and teaching. Rzonca’s roommate, an education major who volunteered for the day, was most touched when the Chesterbrook students asked when they would see the Mount Ida group again.
“Planning events is hard,” says Muir. “You always have to be able to change course in midstream. We all walked away feeling exhausted but good about a great day.”