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Freshmen enhance community through MISD Fall Festivals

October 12, 2022

East Texas Baptist University’s Learning and Leading classes hosted Fall Festivals for all five of Marshall ISD’s elementary schools, including David Crockett Elementary, Sam Houston Elementary, William B. Travis Elementary, Price T. Young Elementary, and Marshall Early Childhood Center School on Monday, October 10 to serve nearly 1,000 elementary students and their families.

“Hosting these Fall Festivals is a great way for our students to work together as a team to benefit their community in areas where they are already serving individually,” ETBU Assistant Provost and Associate Professor of Library Sciences Elizabeth Ponder said. “Students in each class take on leadership roles to plan, build, and host a variety of booths to provide a fun event for parents and students to engage with their school. We hope that through the Fall Festivals, our students learn to look for ways that they can positively impact their communities. In class this semester, we are learning how we can come together as a team to accomplish a common goal. Participating in the Fall Festival with our local Marshall schools allows ETBU students to apply those skills in a tangible way as we seek to answer Christ’s call for us to love our neighbors.”

Each year, the ETBU freshman class plans and organizes the Fall Festivals during their Learning and Leading courses and the freshman Honors Program by setting up booths and planning games and prizes. The festivals provide an opportunity for ETBU freshmen to practice the knowledge and skills taught in their Learning and Leading course and provide an opportunity to reach out and engage with the Marshall community.

“We spent a few weeks planning, and then we spend a few weeks actually putting the event together,” ETBU freshman nursing major Abigail Lucas said. “I believe that it is our job to serve our community because God has placed us here for a reason. He has given us a lot; He has given us abundance in our lives, so to be able to give that back to a younger generation is really special.”

The Learning and Leading course is offered for freshmen during their first semester at the University. The primary purpose of the class is to acclimate students to the college academic experience and examine the leadership attributes that will assist them in their future career calling. In addition, each section participates in a service project during the semester.

“Serving is about doing God’s work and putting a smile on people’s faces,” ETBU freshman nursing major EJ Washington said. “Community outreach is important because it shows that there are still good people in the world, and we are all here to help and serve each other. I love kids, so seeing them laugh and have fun is the best part about it, and the major reason why we do this. I hope the kids get closer to God, and I hope that this event encourages them to reach their goals, have fun, and just smile and be happy.”