Wofford students are reaching out to the local Latino community with a special collaboration between Hatcher Garden, Arcadia Elementary and the La U y Tu service program. The event takes place this Friday from 3-5 p.m. at Hatcher Gardens and Woodland Preserve in Spartanburg. The educational outreach program, aimed at increasing youth involvement at local green spaces, will feature a scavenger hunt for the kids, a picnic dinner, and bilingual coloring books produced by Wofford student and artist Krista Jones. The scavenger hunt features 10-15 items for children to find, dispersed throughout the Garden, so children can explore the green space.
“The event at Hatcher Garden represents the best of partnerships,” says associate foreign languages professor Laura Barbas Rhoden (pictured). “It combines a fantastic local non-profit, a strong public school program, bright and caring students who blend research with service at Wofford, and generous donations from local business owners (Chick-Fil-A donated the main course, and Southeastern Printing the coloring book printing).
“At the heart of the collaboration is a desire to keep Spartanburg beautiful and to invite students of all backgrounds and ages to connect with nature and to dream, like the Hatchers did, of ways to restore and preserve green spaces for the future.”
La U y tú [College and You], part of Wofford’s Twin Towers service organization, was founded during the 2004-2005 academic year by Lissa Hayes ’07. The program brings approximately 45 school children, many of whom are Latino, from Arcadia Elementary to the Wofford campus for events that are educational and entertaining. The purpose is to welcome children to a place where they can interact with college students to encourage them not only to learn, but to aspire to higher education in their own futures.
This Hatcher Gardens event is an outreach developed in conjunction with Community of Scholars fellows Krista Jones ’11 (Spanish and Environmental Studies) and Nathan Redding ’11 (Spanish and Biology). Conducted under the supervision of faculty fellow Dr. Laura Barbas Rhoden, their summer research involved a partnership with Hatcher Garden and produced a pilot study that identified ways to make local green spaces more accessible to Latino families.