Kinesiology department receives parish award
Louisiana Tech’s department of kinesiology received the KEYS Champion Award from Lincoln Parish for volunteer work with Ruston Junior High students. The KEYS, Keep Encouraging Youth to Succeed, Award is given to businesses, groups or organizations who establish a partnership school initiative sustained throughout the year. Dr. Tammy Schilling, an associate professor of kinesiology, organized the Student Connections Program to assist with physical activity, health and teambuilding; to assist the students to make appropriate choices; to expose junior high students to a college environment; and to assist the students in developing leadership skills. “We first began working with the kids in late August,” Schilling said. “Having them come to Tech provides them with unique privileges and choices and a break from their everyday routine. Along with myself, Debbie Key, an awesome retired P.E. teacher from Hico Elementary, and Dr. Lanie Dornier, the kinesiology department chair, have been involved in various capacities throughout the year. Dr. Scott Levin, an English professor, also recently did two sessions with the kids to provide an opportunity for them to be expressive through poetry, lyrics and rap.” Schilling said she became aware of a problem in the community and sought a solution to fix it. “I strongly believe in the amazing potential of all young people in this community,” she said. “Unfortunately, some of them have slipped through the cracks in public education for a variety of reasons and are now at a crossroads in their lives. In my opinion, it is the responsibility of parents, teachers and members of the community, including Louisiana Tech and university faculty, to provide resources that we have available to promote the development of all students in Lincoln Parish.” Dornier said Schilling was instrumental in starting the Student Connections Program. “The students came to Tech each week,” Dornier said. “Some weeks they worked with Tech students –Dr. Schilling’s class — and some weeks Dr. Schilling organized activities herself and we worked with them ourselves. It was a great association for both groups. Dr. Schilling was very committed to these students and adamant that they received physical education.” Schilling said she hopes to have the Student Connections Program in Lincoln Parish again next year.