Sunday, September 21, 2014

Chris Peiffer, Purdue University North Central

Purdue University North Central student, Chris Peiffer, saw a need in his community and with the help of numerous campus and community organizations, multiple departments at PNC, and a 200 year-old German tradition, he met that need.  After research by the PNC Social Work Club proved that elementary school children who have all their school supplies at the beginning of the year have a better academic success rate than their peers without supplies, Peiffer took on the Kindercone project.

KinderCone is a German tradition of providing new Kindergarten students with paper cones filled with school supplies and a few surprises.  Peiffer, Vice President of the Social Work Club, worked with fellow club members, PNC faculty and staff, and Pine Elementary School administrators to deliver the cones.

“ The Kindercones project has allowed us, as a club and future social workers, to get beyond the theoretical world of text books and classrooms and have a significant and positive impact in the real world with real people," said Peiffer.

To get this project off the ground, Peiffer and Social Work Club President Bethany Hershman applied for the necessary funds for the project through the Community Service Mini Grant offered through Indiana Campus Compact.  The grant money was used for the materials to build the cones as well the supplies inside.   PNC_Kindercone_2011_cropped_with_border

In all, 80 students were provided the tools essential to academic success.  At the same time, PNC students learned how to utilize campus and community connections to make an impact.  Peiffer remarked that he “gained from this (experience) a broad knowledge of macro community wok that will be invaluable in my future career as a social worker”.

From research to action to impact, Chris Peiffer developed a win-win situation for Pine Elementary students, Purdue University North Central students, and the community of Westville.

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Indiana Campus Compact is grateful to Lilly Endowment Inc. for significant funding in support of programs, training,and resources for our member campuses that allow them to deepen their commitment to community engagement and service-learning.