At Peaslee Neighborhood Center, community service is one of the biggest ways we connect with the world outside our four walls. We love hearing from students, teachers, neighborhood residents and anyone else with a desire to volunteer at our center. One of our current volunteer projects is unique, however, because the participants can serve from the comfort of their own homes.
The ladies of the Northern Kentucky University chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, a music fraternity for women, contacted us several months ago in hopes of volunteering with us. Their organization supports music education everywhere. At Peaslee, we value music education as well, and have several programs to prove it. They were a very “natural fit,” as Peaslee Piano Program coordinator Angela Pancella put it.
Several members visited us for a tour and attended our winter piano recital. However with nine college students balancing busy class, work and extra-curricular schedules, the group was at a loss as to how to move forward together. After a bit of brainstorming, we proposed the idea of a pen pal program. They loved it.
“I feel it is important for our chapter to have personal interactions rather than just working to raise money for different organizations,” said Brittany Bertram, Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropy Chair. “I feel that this will build character and allow more growth as individuals.”
We have 27 children who take weekly private piano lessons at Peaslee. The NKU students each wrote a simple introductory letter that was sent to the children, with participation on each child’s end being completely voluntary. Hopefully the Peaslee students will feel free to ask about pursuing music in college and a mentorship will be formed. Bertram said many of the NKU students are studying to become music educators, so this interaction will prepare them for the future. Ideally, both parties will learn a great deal from one another.
By Nina Bosken