Students participate in local talent show

Students participate in local talent show
Students from The University of South Dakota, along with high school students from Trinity Lutheran and United Methodist Churchs' youth groups, planned and organized a talent show on Nov. 15 involving the South East South Dakota Activity Center (SESDAC) community.

The event was led by USD's Charlotte Henning, a sophomore, therapeutic recreation major from St. Cloud, MN, and member of Coffeeloft.org.�

The overall goals of the talent show were to allow people with developmental disabilities to share their skills and have members of the Vermillion community spend time and work with people SESDAC serves. The students assisted the performers by helping them practice prior to the show and occasionally during the actual performance as skit partners, musical backup and coaches.�


More than 60 people from the community attended the show and were entertained by music, dancing, art work, martial arts, sports and jokes. Vermillion resident Caryn Jerke said of the event, "Wonderful! Loved the sound and lots of talent and variety!"

When asked what he enjoyed most of the evening, Brook McBride, pastor of the United Methodist Church said he was, "Inspired by (a performer) who sang a song for her friend who died from cancer. It touched my heart."

The Trinity Lutheran Church provided the space free of charge for the event, and the Vermillion Wal-Mart donated cookies, juice and paper products. The remaining costs were covered by a service-learning mini-grant awarded to Henning's project by the Student Action Office through a larger grant from the Midwest Consortium for Service-Learning in Higher Education.�

The Student Action Office (SAO), as part of USD's Center for Academic Engagement, was created as a central point of contact for students to find experiential learning information, including information about service-learning, undergraduate research andoff-campus academic experiences. The office is also a place where faculty can receive support for integrating service-learning and other experiential activities into their courses.

Finally, the SAO acts as a general volunteer clearinghouse for Vermillion and the surrounding area. The SAO is supported by USD and a grant from Learn and Serve America through the Midwest Consortium for Service-Learning in Higher Education and the Corporation for National & Community Service.�

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