Sociology students give back to community in Chicago


Jeff Siegal

Sociology students pose with children from Armoure Elementary School.

For years, the Adopt–a–School Foundation has helped schools and communities through donations inside and outside of the classroom. This past Monday, Blue Crew and students in social science teacher Diane Baldwin’s sociology class participated in this year in the thirteenth year of the program.

On Dec.15, students and staff donated school supplies and winter clothing to Armour Elementary School, located on the South Side of Chicago. This school teaches children in grades K–8, and has been able to survive without a library, gymnasium and a number of basic other school assets.

“Living in such a great community like Buffalo Grove, many do not know the struggles that some of these boys and girls at Armour have to deal with,” Baldwin said. “Students giving their time and talents. In additon to  donating books, school supplies and more makes this a memorable day for all.”

In Baldwin’s sociology class, the main areas of focus include race, minority status and ethnicity. These topics provide students with a first–hand look at what other communities have to deal with.

“We can read all of this out of a textbook and try to understand it, but this hands–on experience is definitely a life changer,” junior sociology student Rachel Selig said. “It shows how lucky some of us really are.”

This year, sociology classes and Blue Crew focused on donating a large amount of school supplies to these underprivileged children. To compensate for the lack of a school library, the groups worked to accumulate age–appropriate books for the students, some of whom are still learning to read.

“It was such a great experience to be able to help out the sociology classes for this great cause,” senior and Blue Crew president Jake Mueller said. “Sometimes we just have to forget about ourselves for a second and put others’ needs first.”

Along with books, winter clothing was also an important focal point for donation for students battling frigid Midwest winters without adequate clothing. Even the little items, such as socks, gloves, hats and scarfs, were important donations to the school.

According to Baldwin, the goal of this field trip was for her students to interact with students of different ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds and cultures. It is also important for them to be able to see students as part of every curricular unit they cover in Sociology trip.

The field trip donated hundreds of books, and making sure every child received winter gear and school supplies that will be beneficial for the rest of their school year.

“Our students come away with a life experience and a service–learning opportunity that most will remember long after their high school days end,” Baldwin said.