COTC and AmeriCorps Collaborate for MLK Day of Service

NEWARK, Ohio, Jan. 24, 2017 — AmeriCorps college completion coaches at Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) got assistance from the college's admissions and advising staff as they joined hundreds of thousands of Americans across all 50 states to honor Martin Luther King Jr. through service. On Friday, Jan. 20, the COTC group visited Legend Elementary to engage students in a lesson on the Civil Rights Movement leader.

We planned this activity to teach the students about diversity and how to respect different cultures," explained Coach Sarah Hostetler. "We want them to be aware that there is more than one type of person."

The coaches and staff members attended four fourth-grade classes. Each class read and discussed Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport. Then, each student reflected on his or her own feelings by writing their own big words, beliefs or meaning of freedom. Each student chose their best quotation to become part of a class "dream quilt" that will be on display for parent-teacher conferences.

While all the fourth-graders impressed the AmeriCorps coaches and COTC volunteers, Coach Lauryn Platt said there were two students that stood out. "The first said 'if you fight hate with hate, there will still be hate left.' The second student said to not fight hate with hate. 'Fight hate with love because even if someone is being hateful, inside them there is a loving heart.' There is something so amazing about these declarations, even at a young age these students comprehend that hate is never the answer."

The AmeriCorps College Completion Coaches program places college graduates, preferably with community college experience, onto Ohio community college campuses to provide in-depth, hands-on guidance and assistance to students who need extra support on their college completion path. It is implemented by the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC) through grants from ServeOhio. Now in its second year, COTC was provided three coaches to mentor students in math courses.

Photo captions:

(Top) COTC staff and AmeriCorps College Completion Coaches: Aissata Barry, Jillian Yoder, Charlene Ross, Sarah Hostetler, Charles Finklea, Lauryn Platt, Searra Schell, Stacey Cartnal and Jennifer Abraham

(Bottom Left) AmeriCorps College Completion Coach Lauryn Platt talks to fourth-grade students at Legend Elementary.

(Bottom Right) COTC customer service specialist Charles Finklea talks to a fourth-grade student at Legend Elementary.

COTC was ranked number one in Ohio and number 19 in the nation by PayScale in its 2016-17 College Salary Report ranking the best community and career colleges by salary potential. COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.